Tesla CEO Elon Musk has joined with one-fifth of Americans who have taken the “pandemic move.” After spending most of his life in California, Musk moved to Texas.
Tesla’s CEO let the news slip through during an interview for The Wall Street Journal’s annual CEO Board Summit. He cited the construction of a new Tesla plant outside Austin, as well as Space X’s planned launch site near the village of Boca Chica in South Texas, as factors in his move. CNBC reported last week that Musk was considering moving to Texas.
He also criticized California’s economic environment as another reason. “If a team is winning for too long, they tend to get complacent,” Musk said. “California has been winning for a long time, and I think they’re taking it for granted.”
Elon Musk argues that Silicon Valley, home to some of the world’s largest and most influential companies, is experiencing a decline in relevance.
It seems that leaving California was on Musk’s mind for a long time now. On May 1, he tweeted, “I will own no home.” Later, it reported that he sold all four of his California homes for a combined price of $62.5 million.
It’s not just about getting closer to his company’s various projects in Texas. Musk also wants to save a lot of money on income tax by moving to Lone Star State. The billionaire CEO is slated to earn more than $50 billion in stock options, and he will have to pay income tax on profits when he uses it if he stays in California. Texas, however, has no personal income tax.
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Musk recently surpassed Bill Gates as the second richest person in the world. His net worth is now around $128 billion, having increased by $100 billion this year. He earned another $10 billion on December 8, as Tesla shares surged on news that the company planned to make a second $5 billion capital increase in the past three months. He’s now about $80 billion shies of pursuing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.