Tesla is planning to move its headquarters from California to Texas, another sign that the Lone Star State is emerging as a leading technology hub.
“I am delighted to announce that we are moving our headquarters to Austin, Texas,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently told the audience gathered for the company’s annual meeting. He cited expensive housing in California as one of the reasons for the move, but the number of employees who will populate that seat remains publicly uncertain.
Tesla will continue to operate its factories in California and Nevada. It is also building a “Gigafactory Texas” vehicle and battery plant in Austin, where it will employ around 5,000 workers and produce the next Cybertruck in addition to the Model Y and Model 3.
Texas has done a great job of attracting tech companies over the past few years. At the end of 2020, Oracle announced that it would move its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin. Hewlett-Packard, Apple, and dozens of other tech companies large and small have opened new facilities and factories in the state.
In a 2020 study by Blind (who anonymously polls technologists), about 29% of tech professionals said Texas was “the next Silicon Valley” and that they were planning to move, compared with 36% who said that “Silicon Valley will always be the technology hub” (and that they remain).
That’s not to say that California’s importance as a tech hub will fade anytime soon. San Francisco and Silicon Valley continue to hire thousands of technologists every month, and tech giants like Google and Facebook are likely to inhabit the state for many years to come. The rise of Texas, however, makes it clear that a state with the right mix of tax breaks, a huge labor pool, and access to talent can also make significant strides in positioning itself as a tech destination. . Tesla is investing more and more in the Lone Star State; what big tech company will follow suit next?