SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday that he has moved to Texas, confirming months of speculation that the billionaire would leave California, a state that he has become increasingly critical of. Musk confirmed the move during an interview at the The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council annual summit.
The move coincides with a number of SpaceX and Tesla-related projects in Texas, the sale of several of Musk’s Los Angeles homes as well as his disagreement with how California public officials have handled the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, Musk filed a lawsuit against Alameda County and threatened to move its headquarters and future programs to Texas or Nevada immediately. The lawsuit stemmed from Tesla’s escalating a fight with health officials over whether its factory in Fremont could reopen during a stay-at-home order enacted due to the coronavirus.
During the interview, Musk said California was taking its winning position for granted and becoming complacent.
Speculation that Musk would move to Texas picked up after Tesla picked and started construction on a site near Austin for a factory that will build its Cybertruck and the Model 3 and Model Y. His other privately held company, SpaceX, is planning a launch site in Boca Chica, Texas. Bloomberg reported Monday that Musk had moved his foundation to Austin, another signal that he had or was about to make the jump to Texas.
Texas has become a hotspot in recent years with Austin, Houston and Dallas seeing spikes of growth. During the pandemic, that pace accelerated as California-based tech workers fled expensive areas such as Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
The state has another important perk for Musk: no state income tax.
California is still a major hub of SpaceX and Tesla operations. SpaceX headquarters are in Hawthorne and Tesla’s headquarters are in Silicon Valley. The company’s main factory, which assembles the Model 3, Model X and Model S and Model Y, is in Fremont.