In remote work world, some tech CEOs are leaving Bay Area

San Francisco economy, where office vacancy and rents are up, could see long-term impact from economic shift

National Weekend Edition /
Nov.November 29, 2020 09:00 AM
San Francisco (iStock)

San Francisco (iStock)

Tech industry workers aren’t the only ones leaving San Francisco for new digs. So are their bosses.

Several industry CEOs are leaving the Bay Area as their companies announce they’ll embrace remote working, even after the pandemic subsides and allows for safe office working once again, according to The Information.

Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, the co-founders of fintech company Brex, have both left for Los Angeles and plan to let their company’s office lease in San Francisco expire next year.

Meanwhile, DropBox CEO Drew Houston and Splunk CEO Douglas Merritt bought homes in Austin and plan to move there permanently.

CBRE’s Dan Harvey said that moves at the top of the tech food chain could spur employees to follow them. Splunk employees have already asked management if they should move to Austin as well.

The pandemic is already having a significant impact on San Francisco’s housing and office markets. Office vacancy hasn’t been as high as it was in the third quarter since 2011. Apartment rents are down by as much as 31 percent for some types of units, year-over-year.

Senior level moves at big tech firms could have a more lasting impact on the Bay Area economy. Bay Area cities have seen steep declines in new job postings, according to Indeed.com.

A more dispersed tech economy could mean lower tax revenue for those cities, but it could also open up room for other types of businesses for the first time. [TI] — Dennis Lynch 


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