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Photo: Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, one of two public companies that now bear the HP name, said Tuesday it's moving its corporate headquarters from San Jose, California, to Houston.

Why it matters: The move isn't financially huge, as HPE already had a significant number of employees based in Houston, the old hometown for Compaq, which merged with HP in 2001. But the symbolism of a Silicon Valley icon picking up and leaving is not a good look for the Bay Area.

Details: HPE said it doesn't plan layoffs and it will keep a significant presence in California.

  • Silicon Valley "will continue to be a strategic hub for HPE R&D, innovation and technical talent," it said in a blog post.

The big picture: Enterprise cybersecurity firm Tanium is also leaving Silicon Valley for the Seattle suburbs, as reported by GeekWire.

  • "San Francisco is not the city it was 20 years ago," CEO Orion Hindawi told GeekWire.

Yes, but: HP Inc., the company that makes PCs and printers, is staying put in the Bay Area, a spokesperson told Axios.

Between the lines: Taxes surely played a role, as Texas has lower corporate taxes and no state income tax. However, it's not that simple, some experts say, noting Texas has higher sales and property taxes.

My thought bubble: The threat to Silicon Valley's industry centrality is less from changes in the region than from the way the pandemic has opened the floodgates to remote work, offering employees that want more space or better schools an option to get those benefits without changing jobs.

Editor's note: This headline has been updated to reflect that Hewlett-Packard Enterprise is not "part of HP."

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
Dec 16, 2020 - Economy & Business

A year of monumental change in the workplace

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In less than a year, the pandemic shot us more than a decade ahead in the workplace transformation.

The big picture: The pandemic's acceleration of telecommuting has changed much more than the way we attend meetings. We'll see lasting impacts on company culture, the job market, demographics and cities.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."