Back from Silicon Valley – Right into Culture Shock

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二月 05, 2019
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The Handelsblatt article, “Back from Silicon Valley – Right into Culture Shock,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultants Robert Kämper and Thomas Becker on why German tech leaders are returning from Silicon Valley. A translated excerpt of the article is below. 


Silicon Valley inspires. But many top German talents return after a couple of years and experience culture shock in Germany.




Anyone who returns from the “Golden State“ on the American West Coast to the German digital desert is sought after in the personnel departments of German businesses. “Managers who have been in the Valley are among the best-trained specialists. They can make a decisive difference in German businesses,” says Robert Kämper, an adviser at Russell Reynolds Associates. 


And his colleague, Thomas Becker, in fact observes that the number of returnees is growing. High rents, expensive groceries, always working until you can no more – and the political climate to boot. “Silicon Valley is no longer the dreamland that it was ten years ago. More and more managers are flirting with a change to Europe", Becker reports. 


Recently in particular, the trend has clearly intensified, say the advisers. 




Flight from Exploding Prices

In fact, life in and around San Francisco is getting to be increasingly difficult: Infrastructure and traffic are close to collapse, rental and real estate prices are exploding, problems with the homeless and drug addicts are increasing. These are complaints that Becker hears from his local clients more and more frequently. 


“The polarization has increased extremely,” he says. “Even the upper middle class can no longer afford to live close to the workplace. Seen in this light, good old Europe suddenly looks pretty appealing again.“ 


The entire article in its original German can be found here