Apple's $1 billion Austin campus is just the latest big investment from top tier companies: Texas governor

  • Apple is the latest in a string of companies to make major investments in Austin, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says.
  • Abbott shrugged off Amazon's decision last month to pass on cities in his state in favor of locating its second headquarters on the East Coast.
  • "Texas is the Alabama when it comes to recruiting in college football. We get to pick the 5-star recruit companies that are coming to the Lone Star State," he says.

Major corporations such as Apple, which just announced a $1 billion investment into a new Austin campus, are buying into Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott told CNBC Friday.

The iPhone maker promises to develop a 133-acre complex to hold 5,000 employees, with room for an additional 10,000 more. It will be situated within a mile of Apple's existing facility in the Texas capital.

The Republican Abbott shrugged off Amazon's decision last month to pass on cities in his state in favor of locating its second headquarters on the East Coast, split between New York and Virginia.

"The week after Amazon made that announcement, McKesson ... announced it was moving its headquarters from San Francisco" to the Dallas-area in 2019, the governor said on "Squawk Alley."

In addition to Apple and medical supplier McKesson, Abbott said software giant Oracle opened a "massive" campus and investment firm Pimco announced an artificial intelligence facility — both in Austin.

"Those are just two of dozens of examples of what's happening in Austin, Texas, just this year," Abbott said, referring to the Oracle and Pimco projects.

The first-term governor said companies like Amazon, who purchased Austin-based Whole Foods, and Apple are turning to Texas for its access to top tier universities in the state and low taxes.

Abbott also touted Texas, which topped CNBC's 2018 Top State for Business list, as the leading choice for companies leaving California.

He cited a Dallas Business Journal article that reported that 13,000 businesses have left The Golden State since 2008 for "a better business climate," with most settling in Texas.

Convenience store distributor Core-Mark, Toyota Motor North America, and Charles Schwab are a few other names that have moved their corporate offices or opened regional hubs in North Texas, according to the article.

"If I can use a football analogy: Texas is the Alabama when it comes to recruiting in college football," Abbott said. "We get to pick the 5-star recruit companies that are coming to the Lone Star State."