REDWOOD SHORES (CBS SF) – While software giant Oracle announced it would move its headquarters to Texas, becoming the latest Silicon Valley firm to leave the region, CEO Larry Ellison has reportedly moved to his Hawaiian island.
According to a company email obtained by Vox, the billionaire was responding to questions about whether or not he would follow the company from its longtime headquarters in the Redwood Shores area of Redwood City to Austin.
“The answer is no. I’ve moved to the state of Hawaii and I’ll be using the power of Zoom to work from the island of Lanai,” Ellison said, before ending his email with a “Mahalo.”
Ellison owns 98% of the 141 square mile island, which he bought for $300 million in 2012. One of the richest people in the world, the Oracle co-founder has a net worth of $83.2 billion, according to Forbes.
The company, which was founded in the Bay Area in 1977, made headlines last week after announcing it was moving its headquarters to the Lone Star State, joining several other tech companies and tech executives looking beyond Silicon Valley during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hewlett Packard Enterprise, once a part of the pioneering Silicon Valley firm, announced earlier this month that it plans to move its headquarters from San Jose to a suburb of Houston in 2022. Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, is currently constructing a $1 billion campus in the Austin area. Over the summer, Palantir, a tech firm with ties to the military and intelligence agencies, moved from Palo Alto to Colorado.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk, CEO of Bay Area-based electric carmaker Tesla, confirmed that he has also moved to Texas, as his auto company is building a new factory in Austin. SpaceX, Musk’s other major venture, also has operations in the Lone Star State.
The Bay Area Council expressed concern about the recent moves, saying California can no longer ignore what it described as an “awful” business climate in the state.
“We are watching the unraveling on one of the world’s mightiest economies and the consequences will be devastating,” Jim Wunderman, the council’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “The COVID pandemic is now exposing California’s deep vulnerabilities as employers realize they have other, better choices of where to locate their business. We can’t afford to dither any longer or California will permanently lose hundreds of thousands if not millions of jobs to states like Texas that place value on business and investment.”