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HPE moving to Houston in 2022

Mark Lonergan, December 2nd, 2020

Yes­ter­day the CEO of LSV150 #8 ranked Hewlett Packard Enter­prise announced the relo­ca­tion of this region’s found­ing com­pa­ny from San Jose to Hous­ton, Texas by 2022. That’s much big­ger news than Sale­force’s acqui­si­tion of Slack, but as of the pub­li­ca­tion of this blog, the San Jose Mer­cury News and the San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle have bare­ly men­tioned this event.

It’s WAY more impor­tant than that.

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard cre­at­ed HP out of their famous garage back in 1937 before the out­break of WWII. They men­tored and devel­oped many of the founders and lead­ers of the Valley’s most impor­tant young com­pa­nies: Apple, Intel, Nation­al Semi­con­duc­tor, Cypress, Max­im, Xil­inx and hun­dreds more. Dave and Bill are the god­fa­thers of the Sil­i­con Val­ley, and it is a big news sto­ry that HPE will no longer call the Val­ley home.

HPE is not the only cor­po­rate refugee flee­ing Cal­i­for­nia. They join Charles Schwab, McKesson, Jacobs Engi­neer­ing, Bech­tel, Palan­tir and dozens of oth­ers. And where are these refugees going? To busi­ness-friend­ly states that wel­come pri­vate and pub­lic com­pa­ny employ­ers and job cre­ation efforts: states like Vir­gina (Bech­tel), Texas (Schwab, McKesson, Jacobs) and Utah (Palan­tir). These places have low­er tax­es and low­er costs of liv­ing. They have no Millionaire’s Tax” and no CEO Tax” and no IPO Tax” as we have here in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. These states do not dic­tate the com­po­si­tion of cor­po­rate boards and they do not pun­ish com­pa­nies for being finan­cial­ly suc­cess­ful.

This announce­ment is a clar­i­on call. It’s time for all Cal­i­for­ni­ans to reassess our pri­or­i­ties as a state. Detroit and Pitts­burgh and Chica­go were all once as pros­per­ous as Sil­i­con Val­ley. Where are we head­ed if we don’t attend to our businesses?