Is the tech industry shifting back to the South Bay? After a migration to San Francisco in recent years, several tech companies are again looking to San Jose and its surrounding areas as growth spots.
Even retail-dominated Santana Row is among the new hot spots as one of the fastest growing tech companies, Splunk, is building new offices there.
Doug Merritt, CEO of the data software company, spoke exclusively with NBC Bay Area about growth, big money and interviewing a president.
Santana Row is not a typical scene for a tech company, but it's been a good fit for Splunk, Merritt said. The company is headquartered in San Francisco but is building offices at the shopping and dining mecca west of downtown San Jose.
One building already is full, with another one expected to open in March.
"The environment and stores, the restaurants, the shops, it feels very main city, even though it’s not in a city," Merritt said.
Splunk has been on a roll, with the number of employees growing along with its stock price. It just announced a $150 million innovation and social fund to support smaller companies in the space.
"While Amazon and Google and Microsoft and other wonderful companies continue to get larger, the world needs alternatives," Merritt said.
Merritt also recently hosted President Obama when he came through the Bay Area.
"That lineage, of technology being important, data being important, inclusiveness, thoughtful and thorough listening and interaction," Merritt said.
It begs the question: Can data and politics mix, safely and honestly?
"Hopefully, they’re being used for the better," Merritt said. "Hopefully not for misinformation, but for accurate information."
Splunk said it has already lined up at least one company under its just-announced fund.
Employees will be able to move into the newest Santana Row office early next year.