Oracle is changing its corporate headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin, Texas, to give its employees more flexibility amid the shift to remote work from the coronavirus pandemic.
The software giant, founded in 1977, is one of the older Valley tech firms, occupying 3.5 million square feet of office space, concentrated in its Redwood Shores complex, Santa Clara, and San Jose.
The move of its headquarters to Austin is part of a plan to “provide our personnel with more flexibility about where and how they work,” Oracle said in a regulatory filing. “Depending on their role, this means that many of our employees can choose their office location as well as continue to work from home part-time or all of the time.”
“By implementing a more modern approach to work, we expect to further improve our employees’ quality of life and quality of output,” it added.
Oracle already has a significant presence in Austin, having opened a five-story, 560,000-square-foot campus there in 2018. “It wasn’t immediately clear what Oracle’s decision means beyond having a new address for its headquarters,” The Wall Street Journal said, noting that the company said it had no plans to move staff from its existing headquarters to Austin.
But the Austin business community hailed the move as a major coup.
“No matter how many jobs they bring here, it’s the corporate headquarters and that’s a marquee event,” Austin economist Angelos Angelou told the Austin American-Statesman. “From an economic development standpoint, this is really fantastic news that’s beyond anyone’s imagination.”
According to the Journal, “The decision by Oracle to facilitate greater flexibility for employees is another signal that the trend toward more remote working brought on by the pandemic could outlast the health crisis.”
Texas has been a popular destination for tech firms because of its relatively affordable housing and staunchly free-market political climate. Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced earlier this month that it will relocate its headquarters from San Jose, Calif., to Houston.
“Austin’s really become the Goldilocks location for companies moving out of the Valley,” Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said.