A Silicon Valley exodus, law firm drama, and the most consequential startup of all time

JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty ImagesAn interstate sits empty in San Francisco, California on April 1, 2020 during the Covid 19 crisis. – All 40 million residents of California were Thursday ordered to stay at home indefinitely in a bid to battle the coronavirus pandemic in the nation’s most populous state.


The remote work movement is accelerating.

Mark Zuckerberg announced Thursday that he expects up to 50% of Facebook’s employees to work remotely by 2030. Shopify boss Tobi Lutke tweeted that the company’s offices would remain closed until 2021 and that most will permanently work remotely after that. “Office centricity is over,” he said.

Those statements follow Twitter and Square employees being told they could work remotely permanently.

What does that mean for Silicon Valley’s status as the tech hub?

As Rob Price reported this week, a survey of thousands of San Francisco Bay Area techies found that two out of three would consider leaving if they could permanently work remotely, suggesting a huge amount of pent up demand to leave what is an incredibly expensive city.

What does it mean for compensation and staff costs? Zuckerberg said that those who leave Silicon Valley might face pay cuts, which makes business sense but could be hard to pull off without damaging morale.

What does it mean for hiring and employee retention? For commercial and residential real estate in the cities the employees are leaving and moving to? Silicon Valley’s rivals certainly see this moment as a growth opportunity.

We’ll have lots more coverage on this in the coming weeks, but I’d love to get your take. What percentage of tech employees currently living and working in Silicon Valley would you expect to leave in the next five years? And where do you think they’re likely to move to? Let me know.

In the meantime, here’s some of our best coverage on the topic from the past few days:

Elsewhere in tech news:

Boies schiller flexner law firm under fire 4x3Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Law firm drama

Casey Sullivan and Meghan Morris have the inside track on drama at elite law firm Boies Schiller. From their story:

Over the past six months, more than 30 partners have exited the firm, which was founded by superlawyer David Boies – best known for his role in cases like Bush v. Gore and the fight for same-sex marriage rights.

Business Insider spoke with more than 50 people, including current and former Boies Schiller attorneys, about the key issues behind the turnover, and events that help explain the firm’s shrinking.

You can read the story in full here:

Pay rifts, a partner divide, and a threat at the Ritz Carlton: 50 insiders reveal all on a massive shakeup at elite law firm Boies Schiller

FILE PHOTO: A sign marks the headquarters of Moderna Therapeutics, which is developing a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., May 18, 2020.   REUTERS/Brian SnyderReutersModerna Therapeutics seen during COVID-19 in Massachusetts

The most consequential startup of all time

And Andrew Dunn has the untold story of Moderna, the biotech startup that has skyrocketed to global prominence, leading the world’s race for a coronavirus vaccine. From his story:

In its short corporate history, Moderna has grown accustomed to breaking records.

A $US450 million funding round in 2015 was a record for the biotech industry. Moderna raised even more the next year. And its 2018 initial public offering was the largest ever for a biotech.

Then, this year, the coronavirus struck. Moderna lapped the drug industry in crafting a coronavirus vaccine candidate, zooming past Big Pharma competitors that dwarf the company in size and resources.

Moderna’s experimental serum was the first to begin human testing in mid-March. Now, the biotech is aiming to be ready this fall for emergency use, a development timeline without precedent.

His story aims to answer a key question:

In taking on the coronavirus, Moderna has gone mainstream and become of the most consequential startups of all time. Is it ready for the moment? You can read his story in full here:

The untold story of Moderna as the biotech’s coronavirus vaccine faces a test that could make it one of the most consequential startups of all time

Below are headlines on some of the stories you might have missed from the past week. Enjoy the long weekend!

— Matt

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