More than a year after moving its corporate headquarters from Palo Alto, California to Austin, Texas, Tesla today announced a partial return to the Silicon Valley city, which will be home to its global engineering headquarters.
The announcement was made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and California Governor Gavin Newsom in a live-streamed event from the former headquarters of Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto where Tesla's engineering HQ will be located.
In October 2021, we reported about Tesla leasing new office space in Palo Alto from HP despite announcing the relocation of its corporate headquarters to Austin, Texas earlier that month. With that in mind, it looks like this move has been planned for quite a while.
In their joint announcement, Musk and Newsom did not provide too many details about the implications of the move, such as how many jobs will be created and the incentive package the state of California likely offered Tesla. We'll probably learn more about that at Tesla's Investor Day event on March 1.
Shortly after the announcement, Tesla's Twitter page posted a link to its website's careers page showing a huge list of jobs based in Palo Alto in areas including vehicle software, charging, Autopilot and robotics, engineering and information technology, supply chain, operations and business support, and more.
California remains a key source of talent for tech companies, and Tesla's CEO noted that locating the company's engineering headquarters in a former Hewlett Packard building is "a poetic transition from the company that founded Silicon Valley to Tesla."
The announcement signals that the frosty relations between Tesla and California may be a thing of the past. The EV maker has 47,000 employees in the Golden State and maintains a large footprint, including an auto plant in Fremont, Megapack production in Lathrop, battery development and testing in San Diego, and hardware and software engineering in Palo Alto.
Tesla was of course founded in California almost 20 years ago and its first factory was in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Fremont. Musk said during the live-streamed event that the Fremont Factory was North America's most productive plant last year and is on track to build more than 600,000 vehicles in 2023.
Elon Musk previously criticized California for "overregulation, overlitigation, overtaxation," and even moved his residency from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas, which does not have state income tax.
In 2020, Musk threatened to move Tesla's headquarters – which he eventually did – and future programs to Texas amid a dispute over the closure of the Fremont plant due to Covid-19.
Source: Tesla (Twitter) via Reuters