Elon Musk Just Moved to Texas. Will Tesla’s Headquarters Be Next?

December 9, 2020
Elon Musk
Elon Musk. | Photo: Tesla

It’s official: Elon Musk, the rocket raconteur, maker of modern cars and telepathic tech billionaire, has relocated to Texas.

Musk confirmed the move during an interview at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council annual summit. Musk had been teasing rumors about moving to Texas, and changed his Twitter location earlier this year to Austin. Last week, CNBC reported that he told friends he was planning to move to Austin.

The move perhaps comes as no surprise. On Tuesday, the Journal reported that, for every person who moved to the Bay Area from Austin between April and October, 2.9 people moved in the other direction — a 39 percent increase year over year. Over the next 20 years, the city’s population is expected to double. Austin has added a record number of jobs so far this year, with tech companies driving a majority of the growth.

Musk’s own Tesla gigafactory that he announced he was opening in Austin in July represents the largest tech investment in local talent so far this year, with the plan to hire at least 5,000 people to staff its new facility. Some have wondered whether Musk may just move the Palo Alto-based electronic vehicle maker’s headquarters to Texas. He had teased the rumor earlier in the year.

That’s not the only investment Musk has made in Austin recently.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Musk moved his private foundation, The Musk Foundation, from California to Austin. In September, Neuralink — the billionaire’s neurotech startup in Fremont — started recruiting for engineers and accountants in Austin, with the announcement that Musk planned to eventually grow the 100-person company’s headcount to 10,000. And all the while, hiring has continued at Musk’s two SpaceX facilities in the state.

Musk’s move reflects the growing trend of tech startup CEOs ditching Silicon Valley for places like Austin and Denver.

In November, Palantir co-founder and venture capitalist Joe Lonsdale left Silicon Valley for Austin, a move made just months after Palantir relocated its headquarters to Denver. At the time, Lonsdale told CNBC that he looked forward to living closer to his mid-America portfolio companies and paying less in taxes. California boasts the highest income tax in the nation, while Texas has no state income tax.

That same month, The Information reported that CEOs from Dropbox and Splunk all were leaving the Bay Area for Austin. Assurely moved its headquarters to Austin from NYC.

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