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The coronavirus is accelerating a significant tech exodus out of California, with Oracle (ORCL) announcing Friday that it has moved its headquarters from Redwood City to Austin, Texas. The move came just days after Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk announced he’d be moving from Los Angeles to Austin.Other tech giants that have recently left California include Silicon Valley pioneer Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) and newly public software giant Palantir (PLTR).The coronavirus pandemic and the new work from home reality for many tech workers have been a catalyst for many business leaders to leave the world’s most populous state, which might not be worth the sky-high real estate prices and taxes.But this is an exodus that began even before the pandemic. Last year, a study by consulting firm Spectrum Location Solutions found 660 California companies moved 765 facilities out of state in 2018 and 2019.‘The drive was soul crushing’Jonathan Greechan, co-founder of the Founder Institute, the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator, relocated from San Francisco to Aspen, Colorado in May 2019, noted that entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have been decamping for places like Austin, Portland, Denver, Portland, and Colorado for years now because of the high cost of doing business in Silicon Valley.“I got tired of spending almost three hours in the car every day commuting from San Francisco to Palo Alto. The drive was soul crushing but if I tried to take public transportation it would have taken even longer and cost the same. [My wife and I] are both outdoorsy people and one the biggest benefits of living in the Bay Area is the close access to so many beautiful places like Sonoma and Tahoe. However, it just seemed like traffic was getting worse with every passing day, so after spending every weekday in traffic it became harder to get myself to do it on the weekends too,” Greechan added.There are other reasons for ditching Silicon Valley. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week, Musk attributed his move to a bevy of reasons, including what he views as California’s unfriendly business environment and the fact that Tesla’s newest factory is being built in Travis County, Texas.

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