Elon Musk hasn’t made a secret of his recent distaste for California, and his preference for Texas. He called the California’s COVID restrictions “fascist,” he’s expressed a concerning lack of opinion on Texas’s anti-abortion law, and he’s already moved into a tiny home on SpaceX’s Austin campus.
Now, he’s taking his company on the move as well. Musk announced at an investor meeting Thursday that Tesla would officially move its headquarters from Palo Alto to Austin, long before its Texas factory is fully completed.
Initially, when Musk listed his California properties for sale, some thought his move to Texas was simply a personal tax dodge. Texas’s state constitution famously forbids income tax, a provision Musk would likely enjoy should he decide to sell off any equity in Tesla. From CNBC:
Tesla’s board granted Musk an executive compensation package that can earn him massive stock awards based on the automaker’s market cap increases and some other financial targets. If he sells options set to expire in 2021, he could generate proceeds of more than $20 billion this year, according to InsiderScore.
When Tesla’s third-quarter earnings report listed its location as Austin rather than Palo Alto, however, the change didn’t go unnoticed. Official news of the move doesn’t come as a shock, but as a confirmation of rumors that have been swirling for days.
As usual with Tesla, many details have yet to be released. It’s unclear how many employees will be moved from Palo Alto to Austin, if any. Musk has made it clear that the Fremont factory will continue to grow, but didn’t discuss what difference the move might make for employees outside of Tesla’s production facilities.