Ellison is the latest Silicon Valley giant to leave California amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Larry Ellison, one of the world’s wealthiest people, has moved to the state of Hawaii, Recode has learned. He’s the latest billionaire to leave California in 2020.
Ellison, the founder of the software giant Oracle, made the disclosure to employees in a company-wide note on Monday afternoon after Oracle announced that it was moving its headquarters to Austin, Texas.
“Following Friday’s announcement … I’ve received a number of inquiries about whether or not I will be moving to Texas,” Ellison wrote. “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,” he added, signing off the email with a “Mahalo.”
Ellison, who, more than most tech billionaires, enjoys the high life, owns almost the entire island of Lanai, which he has tried to develop as an environmental and agricultural utopia. He recently launched a new wellness company based on Lanai called Sensei, and the remote island is heavily shaped by his business and philanthropic decisions. In recent weeks, Ellison’s allies and corporations have had to manage a coronavirus outbreak on the island.
Ellison’s announcement comes just days after Elon Musk, a close associate of Ellison’s, confirmed that he had moved to Texas in part because of Tesla’s and SpaceX’s business operations. A number of tech billionaires have voiced discontent with California’s business climate and tax policies, which would matter tremendously to someone like Ellison, who has a net worth of more than $80 billion.
California has also been more stringent than other states with its Covid-related restrictions, which has angered Musk. Ellison has said little about his feelings on those policies, but he has emerged of late as a rare Silicon Valley ally of Donald Trump. Early in the pandemic, Ellison advocated for Trump to push for hydroxychloroquine, a drug with unproven benefits against Covid-19, as a possible treatment for those with the disease.
Oracle didn’t respond to a request for comment.