The much anticipated votes on whether to recall Governor Gavin Newsom and, if so, with whom to replace him is still two months off (September 14). One donor constituency, the big-money contributors of the tech industry around “Silicon Valley,” seems after a delay to be coming to his assistance. Last week the former chief executive of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, announced that she is contributing $200,000 to help Newsom remain in office.
The term “Silicon Valley” is not very geographically specific, but in general it refers to the concentration of the tech industry in the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay area, centered on San Jose and Santa Clara. Yahoo’s corporate campus is roughly at a halfway point of a line drawn between … San Jose and Santa Clara.
Mayer’s career is quintessentially Silicon Valley. She worked at Google for 13 years before accepting an offer to become the CEO of Yahoo. She left Yahoo in 2017 in order to create a startup that would work on artificial intelligence, called Lumi Labs. That company is now called Sunshine, and is headquartered in Palo Alto. She may be taken, then, as typical of other figures from the ‘Valley’ who have contributed of late to the save-Newsom cause.
The Thing to Know:
The alliance between Newsom and the tech industry is of recent vintage. It may have a lot to do with the recent pandemic, during which California’s state government outsourced various public health related tasks to the tech sector. The outsourcing proved very lucrative for the latter.