Oracle Moving Headquarters Out Of Austin Only 4 Years After Moving Out Of California

By U Cast Studios
May 7, 2024

Oracle Moving Headquarters Out Of Austin Only 4 Years After Moving Out Of California
Image Courtesy Of California Globe

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison announced earlier this week that he would be moving Oracle from Austin to Nashville, Tennessee, despite only moving away from California in the first place in 2020.

This article was written by Evan Symon and originally published by The California Globe.

Originally headquartered in Santa Clara upon it’s founding in 1977, the software giant moved to Redwood Shores in 1989. Oracle became a behemoth while headquartered in California. However, by the late 2010’s, tax issues and non-business friendly practices began to make Oracle rethink staying in California. The pandemic sealed the deal the next year as a more flexible work policy for employees eliminated the need for such a large HQ in California. In December 2020, Oracle announced they would be moving to Texas. Ellison too also left California, making Hawaii his permanent residence. Many companies also followed suit in 2020 and 2021, including Tesla, who also moved to Austin.

“Oracle is implementing a more flexible employee work location policy and has changed its Corporate Headquarters from Redwood City, California to Austin, Texas,” Oracle said in their SEC filing in 2020. “We believe these moves best position Oracle for growth and provide our personnel with more flexibility about where and how they work. Depending on their role, this 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. In addition, we will continue to support major hubs for Oracle around the world, including those in the United States such as Redwood City, Austin, Santa Monica, Seattle, Denver, Orlando and Burlington, among others, and we expect to add other locations over time. By implementing a more modern approach to work, we expect to further improve our employees’ quality of life and quality of output.”

At the time, Austin was planning on becoming a rival to Silicon Valley. However, after only a few years, tech companies began leaving Austin. High costs, no support for start-ups, the climate, political differences, and numerous other factors led companies to begin fleeing the city. By 2023, the majority of tech companies either withdrew presences from the city, such as Meta who relocated offices back to California, or left completely. Many moves were to Houston, Tulsa, Nashville, Miami, or perhaps most embarrassing, back to the Silicon Valley. While Oracle managed to hold out in 2023, they finally announced their move out of Austin to Nashville this week.

During a conversation with former Senate Majority leader Bill Frist on Tuesday, Ellison accidently said “Oracle will be moving their huge campus to Nashville and it will ultimately be our world headquarters.”

Oracle moving to Nashville

He then added “I shouldn’t have said that.” However, with the move now out in the open, Ellison said that the move would be strategic as Oracle is going more and more into the healthcare industry, with a move to Nashville making it better for them to expand into that industry. While unsaid by Ellison, Oracle is also getting around $250 million in tax breaks from Nashville and Tennessee to make the move.

“Nashville is also a fabulous place to live,” added Ellison. “It’s a great place to raise a family. It’s got a unique and vibrant culture. And as we surveyed our employees, large numbers of employees, Nashville ticked all the boxes. Nashville is also at the center of the industry we’re most concerned about, which is the healthcare industry.”

He also expanded upon the new campus itself. It will be designed by Apple Park designer Norman Foster, but will be more park-like than corporate.

“The new headquarters will be right on the river. It will have office buildings, a community clinic, restaurants, hotels and a concert venue, a floating stage on the lake for concerts to be held for the community. We want to be part of the community. Our people love it here. And we think it’s the center of our future.”

Experts told the Globe on Friday that tech companies moving out of Austin or Texas is now what companies leaving California in 2020 is like.

“A lot of companies moved to Texas, especially Austin, as the state promised a lot of things and they thought Austin was this trendy town,” explained San Francisco-based tech lawyer David Singth. “But, as they found out, a lot of people flat out hated Texas. A lot of companies that moved there were shocked at the number of employees who, a year later when their initial leases were up, wanted to move out and work remotely back in California or elsewhere. They really hated the Texas heat, and home costs were really high still. Not San Francisco high, but still high enough. For companies, especially start ups, they found they had little room to grow in Austin. They were away from nearly all investors who were to give them guidance and they were away from the major tech scenes.”

“That’s why the ‘Texas Miracle’ ended so fast. That’s why AI companies are staying in Silicon Valley and San Francisco despite the numerous problems there. It’s where everyone is at and they can grow faster there. Oracle needed a place to continue to grow, and Austin wasn’t it. It was Nashville because of all the healthcare companies there.

“It will be interesting to see just what, if any, presence Oracle will keep in Austin after the move. Oracle still has a ton of offices in California because they like to be connected to the tech and software communities. But Austin? Not a lot of connection there.”

More on Oracle’s move to Tennessee is to be out soon.

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