The relentless California exodus continues: after Tesla boss Elon Musk, Splunk CEO Doug Merritt and comedian Joe Rogan all left the Golden State for Austin, Texas, with Oracle unveiling last Friday that it had become the latest tech company to uproot its Redwood City HQ and move to Austin, Texas, moments ago we learned that Oracle co-founder and billionaire, Larry Ellison, just had an epiphany and decided that he too has had enough of the shitshow that is California, and has moved his primary residence to Hawaii, becoming the latest Silicon Valley mogul to depart the state where they built their fortunes. The news was first reported by Recode.
Ellison, the world’s 11th-wealthiest person, told his staff about the move on Monday following inquiries if he was also moving to Texas in the footsteps of the company he founded. In response, the billionaire told his employees that “Following Friday’s announcement … I’ve received a number of inquiries about whether or not I will be moving to Texas…. The answer is no. I’ve moved to the State of Hawaii and I’ll be using the power of Zoom to work from the island of Lanai. Mahalo, Larry”
There is a twist to this particular relocation. As Bloomberg notes, the 76-year-old Ellison who has a net worth of about $75 billion, owns 98% of Lanai, Hawaii’s sixth largest island that’s mostly made up of Ellison’s luxury hotels and resorts. Ellison is the main employer of Lanai’s 3,000 residents. In addition to his three hotels, he also owns a significant chunk of the housing stock as well as the main grocery store and the monthly newspaper there.
As Record’s Teddy Schleifer notes, “Lanai is HEAVILY dependent on Ellison’s philanthropic and business decisions. Oh, and there’s a big COVID outbreak on the island.”
For folks who aren’t aware:
Larry Ellison owns 98% of Lanai, the island he is moving to.
Lanai is HEAVILY dependent on Ellison’s philanthropic and business decisions.
Oh, and there’s a big COVID outbreak on the island.https://t.co/o6qD9WNd5s
— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) December 14, 2020
As Bloomberg adds, even though Lanai is a small island, with only one school and no stoplights, residents rarely see Ellison around town, though that may change now that he’s officially moved there.
“Nobody knows what his schedule is,” said Alberta de Jetley, a longtime resident of the island and founder of Lanai Today, the island’s monthly newspaper, which she sold to Ellison in 2019. “He comes in on his private plane and he’s here and then he’s gone. Nobody, except for the people who actually work at the airport, know when he’s coming and going.”
While Oracle, the world’s second-largest software maker, had called Silicon Valley home since the company’s 1977 founding, the fiscal insanity of California governor – and French Laundry platinum member – Gavin Newsom has forced some of the state’s most iconic companies and their billionaire founders to get the hell out. Oh, and memo for said governor: as they flee, they take billions in income taxes with them, ensuring that California’s plight will be even worse, and creating a feedback loop where even more companies flee, leading to an even more dire financial situation, and so on.