The US State of California has suffered another blow to its reputation as the home of the world’s technology giants.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has revealed he has left California and is now living in the Lone Star State of Texas.

It comes after Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE), one of the founding fathers of California’s tech homeland of Silicon Valley, also recently revealed it was leaving the ‘golden state’ and moving its headquarters to Texas.

Tesla Model 3. Image credit: Tesla

Leaving California

That particular move was reportedly motivated by pandemic-enforced remote working arrangements, and by individuals and companies opting to leave behind a US state (California) well known for its very high cost of living and commuting difficulties.

A number of other firms have already left the San Francisco Bay Area, including data-mining provider Palantir Technologies, which moved to Denver from Palo Alto.

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs also relocated to Washington from San Francisco, and Charles Schwab said last year its headquarters will move from San Francisco to Westlake, Texas.

Now Elon Musk has become the latest to leave California, when he revealed his relocation during The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council annual summit.

Musk told the paper’s Editor in Chief, Matt Murray, that while “there’s a lot of things that are really great about California,” he believes the state is taking its success for granted.

It should be remembered that Musk famously threatened in May this year to move the Tesla factory out of California altogether, to Texas or Nevada, after clashing with officials in Alameda County over the re-opening of Tesla’s factory during a Californian Covid-19 lockdown.

His threat to pull the world’s most valuable carmaker out of California was not realised, after Musk was allowed to re-open the factory early.

Musk reportedly said that Texas does house some of Musk’s business interests, as factors in his decision.

“We’ve got the Starship development here in South Texas, where I am right now,” Musk reportedly said, referring to the massive spaceship and rocket system which he hopes will carry the first human to Mars.

“And then we’ve got big factory developments just outside Austin,” he added, referring to Tesla’s Giga Texas – which will be used to build Tesla’s Cybertruck, Semi, as well as the Model 3 and Y for the Eastern part of the United States.

Share sale

Tesla meanwhile is looking to reap some pay back, after its share price rose nearly 900 percent so far this year.

Last month Musk had revealed that during the period leading up to the launch of the Model 3 (in July 2017), finances at Tesla were under severe strain.

So much so that Musk admitted that Tesla came within “a month” of bankruptcy in the lead up to the mass production of the Model 3.

Also last month Musk overtook both Mark Zuckerberg, and then Microsoft’s Bill Gates, to become the second richest man in the world, after his net worth grew to $127.9bn, thanks to further rises in Tesla’s share price.

Tesla currently is the most valuable car maker in the world, by some margin.

Indeed, Tesla is currently valued at $616 billion, whereas rivals such as Toyota is valued at $183 billion, and Volkswagen is valued at a mere $70 billion.

To this end, Tesla is looking to raise up to $5bn selling new shares.

This move comes three months after Tesla last sought to raise $5bn, at the time its biggest issue of new stock in a decade.

Tesla is also just weeks away before it is due to enter the blue-chip S&P 500 index.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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