Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has confirmed that he has moved to Texas due to the electric automaker’s growing presence in the state.
The outspoken entrepreneur expressed concerns with staying in California earlier this year during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. At one stage, he threatened to move Tesla’s Californian headquarters to Texas due to lockdown measures in California. While Tesla itself has yet to move its headquarters to the Lone Star State, Musk has done just that.
“For myself, yes, I have moved to Texas,” he confirmed to The Wall Street Journal in a recent interview. “We’ve got the Starship development here in South Texas where I am right now. We’re hopefully going to do a launch later today. And then we’ve got big factory developments just outside of Austin for Giga Texas as well.”
According to Musk, California has grown complacent.
“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,” he said. “So California has been winning for a long time, and I think they are taking it for granted a little bit.”
The Musk Foundation, which gives grants for renewable energy, space exploration, AI development, science education and pediatric research, has also moved from California to Texas. Musk went on to add that Silicon Valley has started to decline in relevance, although he did point out that Tesla and SpaceX continue to “have massive operations in California.”
While Musk didn’t mention it in his interview, The Verge notes that the lack of personal income tax in Texas might have something to do with his move. After all, Musk is currently the world’s second richest person, trailing only Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and since he is poised to earn more than $50 billion in stock options, if he had stayed in California he would have to pay income taxes on the profits when he exercises them.