A top tech CEO is officially done with Silicon Valley.
Keith Rabois, of PayPal and Square fame, is leaving the “improperly run” city of San Francisco after 20 years, Fox Business reported Wednesday.
“Improperly run and managed”
Long considered one of the most desirable cities in America, if not the world, San Francisco has earned its detractors in recent years thanks to its exorbitantly high cost of living and a homelessness epidemic that has negatively impacted the city’s quality of life.
Rabois is the latest tech honcho to flee the Bay Area, joining fellow “PayPal Mafia” member Peter Thiel and Palantir’s Alex Karp and Joe Lonsdale. According to Fox Business, Rabois revealed to Fortune magazine at the Meridian Conference that he finds San Francisco, his home of two decades, “impossible” to live in now.
“I think San Francisco is just so massively improperly run and managed that it’s impossible to stay here,” Rabois said.
The CEO’s decision comes as rent prices have fallen in major cities across the country, a trend that has been attributed to the coronavirus pandemic making cities less appealing to their residents as remote work becomes more prominent. Rabois said that the pandemic showed the downsides of urban living and that barriers to moving are “more psychological than real.”
“Bay Area searches for rent are in free-fall, they’re down like 30%,” Rabois told Fortune, according to Fox Business. “It’s very clear right now, people are shifting their preferences pretty massively.”
“All the things you wish you had”
San Francisco, home to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), is often cited by conservative critics as a beautiful place that Democrats ran into the ground. Silicon Valley has also been drawn into controversy over the immense power concentrated there, as Big Tech companies draw criticism for censoring conservatives on their platforms.
A report from the Wall Street Journal on the so-called “tech exodus” from the city confirmed that many tech workers are being driven away by the insane cost of living, and that the coronavirus is giving them a reason to finally go for it.
“The majority of techies in the Bay Area are not about to move out, but it is a significant enough minority that it’s moving the market,” Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades told the Journal. “This year is the first year that it’s actually real.”
As for Rabois, he’s moving to Florida — Miami to be specific. “Miami is an incredibly beautiful city, cosmopolitan, has an interesting mix of New Yorkers, Latin Americans, and Europeans,” he told Fortune.
“Living in the Bay Area for 20 years, it’s just like, all the things you wish you had,” Rabois added.