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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Oracle Moves Headquarters to Texas, Joining Tech Exodus

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Oracle Corp, a Silicon Valley stalwart, has moved its headquarters to Texas, becoming the latest technology company to leave its home state in the face of California’s higher taxes, steeper cost of living and a broader shift to remote work.

The move to Austin from Redwood City “means that many of our employees can choose their office location as well as continue to work from home part time or all of the time,” Oracle said Friday in a regulatory filing.

The company will continue to support its former headquarters and other U.S. offices in Santa Monica, California; Seattle; Denver; Orlando, Florida; and Burlington, Massachusetts, according to the filing.

The software maker said it had 135,000 employees as of the end of May. Like many other companies, the spread of coronavirus has prompted Oracle to offer staffers more flexible arrangements, including the ability to work from home.

It’s just one of a number of companies, executives and employees that are ditching California because of concerns over the state’s tax rates and high costs, as well as arduous commutes in some locales.

Oracle’s shift of resources away from California dates at least to 2018, led by Executive Chairman Larry Ellison and the late co-Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd. That year, Oracle opened a campus in Austin, featuring an on-site apartment building for employees, in an effort to recruit a younger and less costly workforce.

The campus could eventually host 10,000 staffers, Oracle said at the time. The company also said last year that its largest annual conference, OpenWorld, would depart its traditional home, San Francisco, in favor of Las Vegas.

The world’s second-largest software maker had grown increasingly out of step with its home state.

Ellison, the 11th wealthiest person in the world, and Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz have been major supporters of outgoing Republican President Donald Trump, who lost reliably Democratic California in his re-election bid this year.

The company has also become a sharp critic of the internet companies that now define the modern Silicon Valley, particularly its longtime foe Google, owned by Alphabet Inc. Texas Governor Greg Abbott welcomed Oracle in a tweet reacting to the news.

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