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Elon Musk confirms he relocated to Texas from California

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskSpaceX rocket explodes after successfully landing after high-altitude flight Japanese billionaire offering free trips to moon Kremlin: Musk invitation to Putin to chat on Clubhouse 'some kind of misunderstanding' MORE said Tuesday he has personally relocated to Texas, citing repeated complaints with California’s regulations over technology companies as well as what he called innovation complacency throughout Silicon Valley. 

“If a team has been winning for too long, they do tend to get a little complacent, a little entitled, and then they don’t win the championship anymore. California has been winning for too long,” Musk said at The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council summit Tuesday during an interview with Editor-in-Chief Matt Murray.

When asked if he had moved from California, Musk first emphasized the presence his companies still have in the nation's largest state. 

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“First of all, Tesla and SpaceX obviously have massive operations in California,” the South Africa native said, according to CNBC. “In fact, it’s worth noting that Tesla is the last car company still manufacturing cars in California. SpaceX is the last aerospace company still doing significant manufacturing in California.” 

“There used to be over a dozen car plants in California, and California used to be the center of aerospace manufacturing,” he continued. “My companies are the last two left. ... That’s a very important point to make.”

“For myself, yes, I have moved to Texas.”

Musk added that he believes Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area have “too much influence on the world” but that it likely will be reduced as a result of the pandemic, the Journal reported. 

Musk is just the latest in a series of startup executives and employees who have moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to cheaper locations since the pandemic forced many to begin working remotely. 

Last week, Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced that it planned to move its headquarters to Texas, and earlier this year, Palantir Technologies Inc., founded in the Bay Area in 2003, moved its base of operations to Denver.

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In August, Palantir CEO Alex Karp accused Silicon Valley of being out of touch with the principles and societal needs of everyday Americans. 

“Our society has effectively outsourced the building of software that makes our world possible to a small group of engineers in an isolated corner of the country,” Karp wrote in a letter to investors. “The engineering elite of Silicon Valley may know more than most about building software. But they do not know more about how society should be organized or what justice requires.”

During his remarks Tuesday, Musk also condemned government regulations and bureaucracy that he says have limited new startup creation by favoring monopolies and duopolies. 

“You have a forest of redwoods, and the little trees can’t grow,” Musk said, adding that the government should “just get out of the way” of innovators. 

In May, Musk threatened to move Tesla out of California when a countywide stay-at-home order prevented his U.S. car factory from reopening, which Musk claimed was “fascist,” likening the restrictions to “forcibly imprisoning people in their homes.”

Musk eventually announced his intentions to reopen the factory in defiance of the health order, which the Alameda County Public Health Department responded to within days by saying it would allow the Tesla factory to reopen under specific safety conditions. 

In July, Musk announced that Tesla would be building a $1 billion assembly plant near Austin, Texas, its second in the U.S. and first outside Silicon Valley. Musk’s SpaceX also has operations in Texas.