Newsom, Musk dedicate former HP headquarters in Palo Alto to Tesla engineers
Tesla Inc. said it will establish its “global engineering headquarters” in Palo Alto, a sign of cooperation between the electric-vehicle maker and the EV-friendly state it once called home.
The company is occupying the former headquarters of Hewlett-Packard, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said Wednesday in a roughly five-minute event with Gov. Gavin Newsom that was livestreamed on Twitter.
“We’re excited to announce that Tesla’s global engineering headquarters will be right here in the former headquarters of Hewlett-Packard,” Musk said. “This is a poetic transition from the company that founded Silicon Valley to Tesla.”
They offered few other details about the move and didn’t specify whether it would create any new jobs. Shortly after the event ended, Tesla said on Twitter that it was hiring for engineering roles in Palo Alto.
The joint announcement suggests a thaw in the frosty relations between Tesla and California after the company moved its corporate headquarters out of Palo Alto to Austin, Texas, in 2021.
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Although the automaker has maintained a large footprint in California, with more than 47,000 employees still there, Musk has criticized the state for high taxes and liberal politics.
“It’s a point of pride for me that Tesla is a California company,” Newsom said Wednesday. Musk thanked the governor for being “one of the first people” to buy a Roadster in the company’s early days.
Newsom tangles routinely with conservatives on divisive political topics, but he has been careful not to insult Musk. Newsom has praised the mercurial CEO for his “visionary spirit” and record of innovation.
Newsom also has long argued that Tesla was able to become the largest passenger EV maker in the world because of the state’s EV-friendly policies and tax structure. That fits into the narrative Newsom pushes of California as an economic powerhouse that outperforms red states Florida and Texas in terms of jobs, productivity, wealth and innovation, while also serving as a bastion of tolerance and progressive social policies.
Standing next to Musk, Newsom highlighted his own background as an entrepreneur who had his own share of frustrations with regulations and California’s formidable bureaucracy. Before Newsom was elected mayor of San Francisco in 2003, he operated wineries and restaurants under the PlumpJack label.
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Newsom joked with Musk that he could better afford the $100,000 down payment on his first Tesla in 2007, when he was in the private sector. As governor, his salary is $209,747, considerably less than he made as a business owner.
“Now I have a pension,” Newsom told Musk, who is the second-richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. “So eat your heart out.”