Splunk, Dropbox and Brex followed similar formulas as they grew from small startups to established companies. To attract employees and customers, each set up elaborate San Francisco offices and plastered billboards for its services around the city. Dropbox three years ago leased a giant new office building on the city’s eastern edge. Fintech firm Brex even opened its own cafe in a neighborhood popular with venture capitalists.
Now, all three companies embody a new trend: Their chief executives are leaving the Bay Area. Dropbox CEO Drew Houston and Splunk CEO Douglas Merritt both recently bought homes in Austin, with plans to make the Texas capital their permanent residences, they have told people at their firms. Brex’s 20-something co-founders, Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, have decamped to Los Angeles and don’t plan to renew the company’s San Francisco office lease next year, they told The Information. None of the moves has been previously reported.