Hewlett Packard Enterprise is pulling up its stakes in Silicon Valley and heading for Texas. It’s not the first big tech firm to make the move, and it won’t be the last.
If you visit the private HP Garage museum in Palo Alto, California, you’ll see a plaque proclaiming it as the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley.”
“This garage is the birthplace of the world’s first high-technology region, Silicon Valley,” the marker reads. It names two Stanford students, William Hewlett and David Packard, who “in 1938 began developing their first product, an audio oscillator, in this garage.” (The pair’s first customer? Walt Disney, who was then working on 1940’s Fantasia.)
Earlier this month, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)—as the company is now known—announced that it would be leaving Silicon Valley for Houston, Texas, where it’s currently building a state-of-the-art campus. (HPE, which makes servers and networking gear, is not to be confused with HP Inc., the laptop and printer-maker. The two companies were created in 2015 after the Hewlett-Packard Company split its businesses.)
It’s not the first tech company to relocate its headquarters from California to Texas, which by all accounts has a much more favorable business climate. SignEasy, QuestionPro and DZS all made the move in the past 12 months. What makes HPE’s decision especially notable is not just its size—the company reported $7.2 billion in sales in the quarter ended October 31—but also its role as one of the founding companies of Silicon Valley.