Earlier this week, New York-based recruiter Paul Daversa wrote a widely read piece for Business Insider entitled: ”IT’S TRUE: Top Tech Talent Is Now Leaving Silicon Valley For New York City.” Daversa wrote that “for the first time in my 20 years of search, the deal flow and investment lines have begun to blur as NY has become a hot-bed for building great tech companies and leadership talent is migrating to New York.”
Daversa added: “More than any time in recent history I am seeing a migration of talented engineering and operating executives leaving the Bay area and other parts of the country to lead NY companies.”
Now, Jeff Markowitz, the managing partner for Heidrick & Struggle’s venture capital practice, is calling bullsh*t. offers a different opinion.
Markowitz, who is based in Philadelphia but travels frequently between both coasts, says that “New York is definitely busy – busier than New York has been in a while — but I don’t agree at all with the fact that there are people starting to flock from the Bay Area to New York.”
Aside from the “people in New York who are always trying to get to the West Coast and vice versa, I don’t see the [trend that Daversa highlighted],” Markowitz says. “I don’t see engineers or operating executives leaving California.”
Markowitz’s practice focuses on the executive level, and he says that if he had to break down how many people he’s been placing in Silicon Valley vs. New York, it would “maybe break down to a 65/35 percent split.”
Still, he adds, while he sees “top-tier venture firms traveling for deals to New York — much more so than 10 years ago — there’s no comparison when you look at the number of [startup] opportunities in both geographies, and no reason for people to be abandoning the Valley for New York.”
In fact, Markowitz says New York is still nowhere near the level of business it saw in the late ‘90s, though he adds: “The Bay Area isn’t as busy as it was in the late ‘90s, either. There were so many venture firms and startups, it was so nutty. It’s hard to compare anything to the late ‘90s.”