Elon Musk confirms move to Texas

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc., said Tuesday he has moved to Texas, leaving Silicon Valley in California, a state that has seen a spike in coronavirus cases.

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Musk, 49, speaking during The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council annual summit, told the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Matt Murray, that making the move east made sense. Tesla is in the process of building a new factory in Austin, Texas, and used a sports analogy to hint that California had become too complacent with his company.

“If a team has been winning for too long, they do tend to get a little complacent, a little entitled and then they don’t win the championship anymore.” California, Musk added, “has been winning for a long time,” Musk told the newspaper. “And I think they’re taking them for granted a little bit.”

Musk reportedly spends most of his time in Texas between Austin and Boca Chica. The coastal village, near the Mexican border, is home to a SpaceX facility, KEYE-TV reported. SpaceX tests rocket engines in McGregor, located west of Waco, and the massive new Starship spacecraft is being built in Boca Chica, according to The Dallas Morning News.

For two decades, Musk has lived in the Los Angeles area, where SpaceX has its headquarters, the newspaper reported. Tesla’s headquarters are in Palo Alto, California, and the main factory is located across San Francisco Bay in Fremont.

Musk has clashed with regulators in Fremont this year, CNBC reported. Musk said he views government as “monopoly that cannot go bankrupt,” adding that government should think more about removing regulations, not just making new rules.

When Alameda County shutdown orders stopped production at Tesla’s plant in Fremont, Musk defied local health officials by closing late and reopening early, the Morning News reported. He criticized the rules as “fascist” during an earnings call.

Texas also offers potentially enormous tax benefits for Musk, according to the Morning News. The state has no personal income tax, while California has some of the highest personal taxes in the nation, the newspaper reported. Musk is the world’s second-wealthiest person behind Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, CNBC reported.

Musk also moved his private foundation to Austin, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have fled Silicon Valley for cheaper locales, since more employees are working remotely. Last week, Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced it was also moving to Texas, The Wall Street Journal reported. Palantir Technologies Inc., a fixture in Silicon Valley since 2003, moved its headquarters to Denver earlier this year, the newspaper reported.