Which job categories did we focus on

Silicon Valley at a crossroads

Read more:As someone who has lived in the City by the Bay for more than 20 years andgrew up in the Bay Area, I have seen it play out. I remember how the dot-comboom changed the city in the late 1990s, and the hand-wringing when both well-known companies and fly-by-night startups abruptly closed their offices at thebeginning of the millennium, sending many of the tech carpetbaggers back tothe Midwest, the East Coast, or wherever they came from.But this time around was not the same. For those who remained in SanFrancisco, who love the unique and quirky city of hills, the impact of thismore recent boom has seemed much worse. It created an even deeper divide, acity of have and have-nots, which appeared at times to have lost its soul. Andit has been long and more enduring, as huge companies became more embedded inthe city’s fabric, as seen in the omnipresent Salesforce Tower, now the city’stallest skyscraper.While during the first big tech boom, startups were based in both the SouthBay and in the city, San Francisco’s startups seemed prone to bigger, morestunning failures and largely didn’t last, maybe because they spent more oninsane launch parties to get the city’s media attention, or were just ahead oftheir time — like Pets.com, an online pet store replicated in a recent IPOsuccess, Chewy Inc. CHWY. While many companies in Silicon Valley survived thebust and became today’s tech stalwarts — from Alphabet Inc.’s Google GOOGLGOOG to eBay Inc. EBAY to Netflix Inc. NFLX — San Francisco’s dot-com failuresleft the once-hot South of Market neighborhood in tatters after the bubbleburst.The second generation of San Francisco tech companies have fared much betterthan their forebears, and some of the largest have largely done so byprofiting from the desperation of a different class of workers. Uber UBER,Lyft Inc. LYFT, Instacart, and their Palo Alto-based brethren DoorDash Inc.DASH created a business model around the resources of contractors, keepingtheir operating costs low, based on the same mindset: using smartphone apps tomake lives easier for the types of well-heeled urban professionals that workedthere, at the expense of low-paid workers.These startups paid their tech workers well — including in stock thateventually became publicly traded at multibillion-dollar valuations — whilethe “gig workers” who actually made the process work received small stipendsand few to no benefits. It is no wonder that their employees, and theircolleagues from other tech companies, acted like entitled royalty, creatingclass warfare with an inequitable situation: Huge, overinflated rents thatoften shoved out lower-income residents or made it impossible for them to livein the city, even if they spent most of their working days here.The gig-economy companies were joined by other successful companies that arethe heart of a massive economic engine: Salesforce.com Inc. CRM, Twitter Inc.TWTR, Pinterest Inc. PINS, Yelp Inc. YELP, Square Inc. SQ, and many others. Inaddition, to lure the younger workers who preferred the urban life in the cityto Silicon Valley’s more suburban communities, Google, Facebook Inc. FB, AppleInc. AAPL and others offered large, plush commuter buses, where theirheadphones-wearing workers would board at designated bus stops. These workersoften received the silent (and sometimes not so silent) ire of locals,immersed in their phones and their digital worlds, complete with WiFi networkson board. They were ushered to Silicon Valley every day without having tosuffer the usual stresses of that nasty commute, as the freeways got more andmore congested.Read also: How tech companies could use their shuttles to help Bay AreatransitThey are not startups that went public with little to no revenue, like in thelate ’90s. They have very real products and hefty revenue, and even profitsfor some of them. And, as the Silicon Valley Index showed last week, theirgrowth has helped to exacerbate inequality throughout the region, which theCOVID-19 pandemic only amplified and accelerated.Many in the latest crew of arrivistes also did not seem to have much respectfor the city or its history, turning it into both a playground and bedroomcommunity for Silicon Valley. The last decade in San Francisco also saw anastronomical jump in housing costs, with more incoming residents flush withcash, from IPOs or company sales. Many of San Francisco’s signature Victorianhomes became examples of pure facadism, as the newly rich buyers gutted anddestroyed their interiors to create sleek spaces.“Every part of the city became party central,” said Leigh Anne Varney,founder, Varney Business Communication, a tech public relations consultancy.Varney has been in San Francisco for 36 years. “I felt like everyone treatedthe city like it was a giant college campus, like it was one big playground.I’d like to think some of my musician and artist friends will come back. Buteven if the [average] rent falls from $3,500 to $2,500, it’s still high.”While there could be worries that the departure of many of those tech workersand their parties will economically damage the city, they may not be movingfar. There has been much written in recent weeks about new tech hubs formingin regions like Miami/South Florida, Atlanta, Denver, and other cities withcheaper housing costs, even as rents in San Francisco have plunged about 30%.But so far, all of the signs indicate that Silicon Valley and the techindustry are not actually leaving California, just San Francisco.According to data from the U.S. Postal Service, reported in the San FranciscoChronicle last week, 80,371 households left the city in 2020, compared with45,263 in 2019. Based on forwarding address data from March to November of2020, the majority of people moving are going to other Bay Area countiesoutside the city. The top six counties for people fleeing San Francisco wereAlameda, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Sonoma — othercounties surrounding the city.“It’s pretty clear from the data the Chronicle got that people are moving tothe suburbs,” said Ted Egan, the city’s chief economist. “They move to S.F.,but when they move out, they move out to other Bay Area counties, or L.A., orSacramento. That is the major migration story. It’s not all of our talent andinformation economy moving away. They just may not be coming to the office forfive days a week when offices are open again.“It’s a very different impact for us if they are moving to Marin versusBoise,” Egan said.San Francisco will not emerge unscathed from the pandemic, which has severelydamaged its enormous tourism industry, including conferences, shutteredrestaurants and many small businesses. Many tech giants with large officeshere are rethinking their need for real estate and working on puttingdownsizing plans into action. Companies with their own buildings, such asSalesforce, and those like Yelp YELP, which is the anchor tenant in one of thecity’s earliest skyscrapers on New Montgomery Street, are reassessing theirneeds, while planning for a hybrid work environment.In the city’s budget released earlier this month, the controller’s officepredicts that the city will lose about $60 million in business tax revenue infiscal 2021-2022 and see an approximate drop of 4.2% in revenue from propertytaxes, reflecting a general decline in property values, including a 20%decline in hotel and retail property assessments, a 7% decline in officeproperty assessments, and a 2% decline in multi-unit residential propertyassessments. Total property tax revenue is budgeted at $1.98 billion forfiscal 2021-2022, down from $2.06 billion in fiscal 2020-2021.“As companies have extended their telecommute policies further into thefuture, the projection includes increased assumptions about the magnitude oftelework, which has a significant effect on revenues,” the authors wrote inthe city’s five year financial plan.According to real estate investment company Colliers International CIGI, SanFrancisco’s downtown office market had an overall vacancy rate of 11.2% at theend of the fourth quarter of 2020. That vacancy rate, though, is still not yetas low as it was in the two most recent downturns, i.e., after the dot comboom (13.5%) or in the recession of 2009 (14.7%).“An immersive workspace is no longer limited to a desk in our Towers; the9-to-5 workday is dead; and the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables and snacks,” Salesforce President and Chief People Officer BrentHyder wrote in a company blog post earlier this month, in which he describedthe cloud software company’s reopening strategy and new flexible workingpolicy.Yelp had similar comments: “Our hybrid model will provide greater flexibilityto Yelp employees who now have the opportunity to relocate so they can livewhere they want to live, and work where they’ll feel most effective,” ChiefPeople Officer Carolyn Patterson wrote in a blog post last week.The real question for the future of San Francisco is whether there is a nextgeneration of startups that will reignite this cycle anew. There was stillrecord venture-capital funding in the Bay Area in 2020, far outpacing otherregions of the U.S. The number of companies based in San Francisco thatreceived seed and early-stage venture funding in 2020 was down from theprevious year, but those numbers are expected to be flat once all the angeldata is compiled, according to Pitchbook, which tracks VC funding data.Kyle Sanford, an analyst at Pitchbook, said that with everyone workingremotely, VCs have been able to host consecutive pitch meetings back to backto assess more potential investments than ever before, meaning “In 2020, itwas much easier to get in front of a Bay Area investor if you are located in amuch different ecosystem.”“The Bay Area is still the hub of venture capital,” he added, and he believes“San Francisco will still be an epicenter” for startups.“People are still funding S.F. startups,” Evans, San Francisco’s chiefeconomist, said. “The startups that have turned into big companies over thelast 10 to 20 years, they didn’t do a lot of work-from-home when they wereyoung companies. It may be that young companies look at the S.F. office marketand look at apartment space and realize now is a good time to get into a rent-controlled apartment, and they wind up filling the gap, so it’s a newgeneration of startups.”Whether another new generation of entrepreneurs will be any better for thecity is impossible to say, but the possibility leaves San Franciscansgrappling with a choice: More pain, or less tax revenue. I certainly wouldn’tmiss the inconveniences I suffered before the pandemic sent us all home:groups of tech bros clogging up sidewalks at lunch time, train cars packedwith inconsiderate people with massive backpacks taking up seats or aisles,horrendous freeway traffic to get out of the city, and the huge messes oftrash left in city parks after the weekend.For myself and I imagine many others, any time without too many tech workersflooding the city may be worth some hit to the city’s coffers, but hopefullynot at the expense of any more small businesses. After one of the mostannoying booms in a city with a long history of them, I’m hopeful aboutwhatever the bust brings.San Francisco Bay Area tech salaries revealed: Here are 21 of the region’shighest-paid jobs at companies like Netflix, Google, Apple, and Facebook. * Business Insider analyzed the tech jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area that pay the highest salaries. * The Bay Area is the hub of the tech industry, and it’s where many of the world’s most prominent tech companies, like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Netflix, were founded, creating an ultra-competitive market for tech talent. * We analyzed the data for over 35,000 active foreign worker-visas in the San Francisco Bay Area. Companies seeking foreign workers must disclose salary data for particular jobs when they seek visas. * For this list we focused on jobs paying above $240,000. Some of the tech industry salaries in the Bay Area went as high as $650,000. * Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.The San Francisco Bay Area is the hub of the tech industry. It’s wherefounders from all over the world come to start companies, and where some ofthe world’s most prominent tech companies, like Apple, Google, Facebook, andNetflix, were founded.That’s created a competitive job environment, with companies willing to paybig bucks to attract top talent, with some salaries surpassing half a milliondollars a year, according to a Business Insider analysis.While tech companies generally don’t reveal reveal employee salary andcompensation, except for its very top executives where it’s required byfederal regulations, American companies have to disclose salary data when theyapply for visas on behalf of current or prospective foreign workers. TheOffice of Foreign Labor Certification collects and processes thoseapplications and publishes the salaries every year.We analyzed the data for over 35,000 active foreign worker-visas in the SanFrancisco Bay Area, including the city of San Francisco, numerous cities inSilicon Valley, and surrounding cities, to find some of the highest paid jobsat technology companies in the area. For this list we focused on jobs payingabove $240,000. (Notably, the data covers annual base salary not totalcompensation, which can include bonuses or stock awards). Of note, Googleaccounted for 13% of the active visas on the list.It’s not a comprehensive look at San Francisco Bay Area tech salaries becauseit only includes data for foreign workers, but it gives some rare insight intohow much companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Cisco and others payfor top tech talent.These are 21 of the highest-paid tech-industry positions in the San FranciscoBay Area:

Apple, human interface designer director: $324,917

Apple was founded in 1976 in Los Altos, and is one of the companies that hashelped make Silicon Valley into what it is today. Apple is now headquarteredin Cupertino and has a sizeable number of employees based there, even as itswidening its footprint beyond the Bay Area.The highest paid hire in the data was a human interface designer director,with a salary of $324,917. Apple’s human interface design team is responsiblefor conceptualizing, designing, and creating the user experience for all Appleproducts, services, and accessories. The focus is on making products that looknice but are also easy to use.The salary for a non-director human interface designer range from $65,062 to$220,000For more Apple salaries, check out our story here.

Workday, senior principal software development engineer in test: $205,200

to $307,800Workday is headquartered in Pleasanton, a suburb in the San Francisco BayArea. It also has Bay Area offices in San Mateo, Palo Alto, and San Francisco.It makes cloud based human resources and financial planning software. Likemost other cloud software companies, software engineers play a key role indeveloping its products.The highest paid hire on the list was a senior principal software developmentengineer in test, with a salary range of $205,200 to $307,800.Regular software engineer roles start at $119,122.

Apple, hardware development manager: $269,100

Apple is best known for the iPhone, and other hardware products like the iPadand Mac computers. So it’s no surprise that one of its highest paid roles inthe Bay Area was a hardware development manager for $269,100. There weremultiple hires for a hardware development manager, and salaries started at$157,539.Non-manager hardware development engineers and hardware systems engineers hadsalaries between $93,891 and $207,113.

Cloudera, principal software engineer: $270,000

Cloudera is headquartered in Palo Alto, and makes software to process largeamounts of data using a technology called Hadoop. Its highest paid role on thelist was for a principal software engineer, for $270,000. There were a totalof three hires for a principal software engineer, with salaries starting at$190,155.Engineering roles made up a majority of the visas Cloudera applied for, whichsalaries starting at $111,121.

What’s the big deal about EEO-1s?

The EEO-1 form includes more than 130 data points and breaks down thedemographics of a company’s workforce by race, gender and job category.Unlike many other kinds of diversity reports that companies release, which mayinclude only percentages, EEO-1 reports include the actual number of employeesbroken down by category. By using these reports, we can assess whetherpercentage calculations of race and gender are reliable or misleading. Forexample, a smaller company needs only a few women or minorities tosubstantially change its percentages.Managers at many tech firms were critical of EEO-1 forms, saying they containoutdated categories not suited to their fields. The “professionals” jobcategory includes both tech workers such as software engineers and non-techemployees such as lawyers, accountants and human resources specialists.Some critics fault the forms for what they don’t include. The multiracialoption, for example, doesn’t specify races. The reports don’t include agedistributions, gender identities, sexual orientation or disability data. Theyare only snapshots of demographics at a point in time.An additional layer of potential error lies in the fact that employers areguessing the race of employees who don’t provide that information. But despiteits flaws, the EEO-1 is the only standardized report that can be used tocompare companies with each other.Many companies that have not publicly released their EEO-1 reports, such asPayPal, Pandora Media and Netflix, instead create their own diversity reportswith customized categories. Reveal found these reports often don’t divulge keyinformation, including the overall size of the companies and gender databroken down by race. Companies may have their own classification systems ormay not include employees who choose not to identify themselves. These factorsmake it unreliable to compare one company with another using their alternativereports.For this reason, we’re including in our analysis only companies that havereleased their EEO-1 reports publicly or exclusively to Reveal. We’re alsocalling on other large technology companies to publicly release their EEO-1data.

Which job categories did we focus on?

We are comparing many types of tech companies to each other. Those companiesdo vastly different things, and their workforce compositions vary.Even within the same industry, companies vary in size, maturity and structure.Some companies, such as Apple, have a large sales team, while others haveinsurance agents, health care workers or customer service representatives.This could alter their overall workforce demographics, making apples-to-applescomparisons difficult. For this reason, we focused on specific job categoriesinstead of total employees.There are several types of job categories in EEO-1 reports. We decided tofocus on professionals, because they make up the bulk of most tech companies’workforces and because they include tech workers such as software engineersand web developers. We also focused on managers and executives because mostmajor decisions are made at those levels.Managers are classified as “first/mid officials and managers” in EEO-1reports. Executives in our analysis are called “executive/senior officials andmanagers” in EEO-1 reports.We also analyzed managers and executives together because we found that somecompanies had a relatively large number of executives and almost the samenumber of managers, while others had fewer executives and more managers.A major drawback to using EEO-1 forms is there is no way to figure out whichemployees have technical jobs and which have nontechnical jobs. Professionalsmay include lawyers, engineers and financial analysts.Here are the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s definitions of jobsincluded in the EEO-1 categories.

How did we decide which are the largest tech companies in the Bay Area?

For this project, we wanted to focus on Silicon Valley. Therefore, weconsidered tech companies headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area only,which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Franciscocounties. This means we did not include companies such as Microsoft, Amazonand Dell, which may have a presence in the Bay Area but are headquarteredelsewhere.We created a custom list of the biggest Bay Area tech companies by combiningdata from multiple sources.We started with this list compiled by The Mercury News in San Jose of the 150largest publicly traded companies in 2016. We added privately held companiesvalued at $1 billion – so-called “unicorns” – from lists curated by Crunchbaseand CB Insights. Reveal’s list was current as of Aug. 3, 2017.We’ve excluded unicorns that have been acquired by other companies.AppDynamics and Jasper Technologies are examples of $1 billion privatecompanies that recently were acquired by Cisco Systems – they are not includedin our analysis.We decided to include LinkedIn as a part of our analysis. It was acquired byMicrosoft in late 2016, but was a publicly traded Silicon Valley tech giantthat had been releasing its EEO-1 reports publicly.The Mercury News’ SV150 list of publicly traded companies includes AlphabetInc., the parent holding company for Google. On its website, Alphabet links toGoogle’s diversity data and does not appear to release separate diversitydata. We decided to include Google as a part of our analysis instead ofAlphabet.If a company on our list had not publicly released their 2016 EEO-1 report, wecontacted them multiple times to request it. Three companies, SciClonePharmaceuticals, Deem and Quanergy Systems, reported that they had fewer than100 employees in 2016 and thus were not required to file EEO-1 reports. Theyare not included in our analysis.


Here’s a list of companies we’ve reported on in the past year who’ve decidedto pack their bags, as well as several prominent companies catalogued onsf.citi and reported on by other sources like the San Francisco BusinessTimes. As more are announced, we’ll be adding to this list regularly.

1. Salesforce

Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platformwhose headquarters is located in the heart of San Francisco, California. Infact, the Salesforce Tower (formerly the Transbay tower) is the tallestbuilding in San Francisco, reaching more than 1,000 feet, making it a cityicon.Aside from its impressive building, Salesforce is known as a great place towork due to their many employee incentives. For example, Salesforce grants itsemployees up to seven days of paid time off per year to volunteer for theirfavorite charities. Additionally—in accordance with the company’s commitmentto social responsibility—the company has pledged to match nonprofit donationsof up to $5,000 per year.Salesforce is always looking to add the most talented individuals to theirteam. To help recruit the best and brightest, the company created theFutureforce University Recruiting Program, which offers opportunities forundergraduate students, new graduates, and students pursuing an advanceddegree in a field that Salesforce has indicated are a priority for thecompany. Data science, research, corporate development, and product marketingare all examples of such programs.If Salesforce sounds like your dream workplace or you are interested in theopportunities provided through the Futureforce program, you should considerthe education required to secure a role at the company. Completing an advanceddegree (in collaboration with Futureforce or otherwise) can provide you withthe skills needed to excel.Programs offered at Northeastern University’s Silicon Valley and San Franciscocampuses, such as the MS in Computer Systems Engineering-Internet of ThingsConcentration, MS in Project Management, or MS in Leadership, among others,can help prepare you for your professional career at a top company likeSalesforce.


Here’s a list of companies we’ve reported on in the past year who’ve decidedto pack their bags, as well as several prominent companies catalogued onsf.citi and reported on by other sources like the San Francisco BusinessTimes. As more are announced, we’ll be adding to this list regularly.


Here’s a list of companies we’ve reported on in the past year who’ve decidedto pack their bags, as well as several prominent companies catalogued onsf.citi and reported on by other sources like the San Francisco BusinessTimes. As more are announced, we’ll be adding to this list regularly.

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