Pricey, disaster-prone California loses its lustre for big tech

World

Pricey, disaster-prone California loses its lustre for big tech

Silicon Valley’s office vacancy rate is rising as skyrocketing property prices force companies to relocate, many to Texas

Kara Wetzel, Romy Varghese and David R. Baker

California governor Gavin Newsom frequently touts that his state is the leader in cutting-edge manufacturing and green technology. Now one of the most recognisable companies in those fields is taking its headquarters elsewhere.

Tesla’s move from Silicon Valley to Texas marks the latest blow for California, the electric carmaker’s home since its founding 18 years ago. It joins companies including Oracle, Hewlett Packard and Charles Schwab in relocating their corporate hubs to the cheaper, more tax-friendly lone star state in the past two years.

They all are keeping a large presence in California, underscoring the importance of the world’s fifth-largest economy. But the shift of companies born and bred in the state shows how many of its intractable issues, from the US’s most expensive housing costs to high taxes and climate catastrophes, pose a threat to continued economic growth if corporate departures multiply. ..

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