California sets the stage when it comes to being a world-class leader in the tech industry. California is the largest tech hub in the United States. California has more jobs in high-tech than any other state by far, with 378,300 tech jobs. The next closest is Texas, with 260,700. California has more tech startups than any other state—it’s home to the most startups of any state by far.

Silicon Valley, which stretches from San Jose to San Francisco, houses some of the largest technology companies in the world like Google, Facebook, and Apple—not to mention numerous smaller startups that have made names for themselves in recent years. With so much competition in the marketplace – it’s hard for anyone company to be at the top of the charts for long. These companies, however, have broken through and are ranked as some of the largest technology companies in California.

The Largest Tech Companies in California by Revenue

CompanyRevenue
AppleUS $274.515 Billion
Alphabet Inc.US $182.527 Billion
Meta (Facebook)US $85.965 Billion
IntelUS $77.867 Billion
HP Inc.US $63.639 Billion
GoogleUS $50 Billion
CiscoUS $49.81 Billion
Oracle CorporationUS $40.47 Billion
Applied MaterialsUS $23.06 Billion
UberUS $17.46 Billion
VMwareUS $11.767 Billion

The Largest Tech Companies by Employee Count

CompanyNo of Employees
Apple147,000
Google139,995
Alphabet Inc.135,301
Oracle Corporation132,000
Intel110,600
Cisco75,900
Meta58,604
HP Inc.53,000
VMware34,000
Uber29,300

The Largest Publicly Traded Tech Companies

CompanyMarket Cap
Apple Inc (AAPL)$2.542 Trillion
Alphabet Inc (GOOG)$1.5 Trillion
Meta Platforms Inc (FB)$560.83 Billion
Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO)$204.72 Billion
Oracle Corp (ORCL)$195.28 Billion
Intel Corp (INTC)$179.53 Billion
Uber Technologies Inc (UBER)$58.82 Billion
VMware$45.76 Billion
HP Inc (HPQ)$38.16 Billion

Which Tech Companies Were Founded In California?

1. VMware

VMware, Inc. is a California-based company that provides cloud computing and virtualization software and services. The company has been growing rapidly since it was founded in 1998 and now employs around 10,000 people.

The company’s products help companies manage their data centers by creating, running, and managing virtual machines on the same piece of hardware while providing high availability and performance.

They also have Site Recovery Manager (SRM), which helps businesses protect their data, VMware vFabric Hyperic Server Monitoring and Management, VMware vFabric Data Director (vFDD), which is a Business Intelligence tool, vCloud Director, which is a tool for building private clouds, VMware ESX Server and ESXi which are the two most popular hypervisors on the market, and vCenter Chargeback Manager.

The History of VMware: What to Know

VMware was founded in 1998 by Diane Greene, Mendel Rosenblum, Scott Devine, and Edouard Bugnion to help build their software. The company’s first product, VMware Workstation, allowed users to run multiple operating systems on their PCs without rebooting the machine. It was released in 1999, and soon after, the company renamed itself to match its flagship product.

Greene served as VMware CEO until 2008 when she stepped down and handed control over to Paul Maritz. In 2012, Maritz stepped down and handed the company’s control over to Pat Gelsinger. Today, VMware’s offices are located in Palo Alto, California, with additional offices across 21 countries worldwide. The company has more than 22,000 employees serving more than 500,000 customers around the globe.

The Founding of VMware: How it Happened

The story of how VMware came to be is one of perseverance, hard work, and will. The company was founded in 1998 by Diane Greene, who had previously founded and sold VXtreme (acquired by Cisco) and was an early member of Sun Microsystems. Together with Edouard Bugnion, her VP of engineering, Greene created a VMware virtualization system that provided scalability on x86 servers. In 2003, she brought in Paul Maritz as CEO, and together, they led VMware through a period of explosive growth. In 2007, EMC acquired them for $635 million and has since grown into one of Silicon Valley’s largest tech companies. Today, it has over 4500 employees worldwide and boasts more than $2 billion in annual revenue. It is also one of only a handful of enterprise software companies headquartered in Silicon Valley.

In 2004, following its initial public offering (IPO), VMware became part of a group of high-growth technology companies listed in what would become known as the dot-com bubble. When other tech stocks started to collapse after 2006, investors fled from even well-established technology stocks like VMware—despite their solid fundamentals—and their stock prices plummeted. The company’s share price reached an all-time low of $1.77 per share by January 2008 and, at one point, fell below $1 per share for several months.

Many analysts predicted that VMware was doomed to fail, and some suggested that Cisco or Microsoft might acquire it for less than $2 billion. However, due to strong leadership and faith in its business model, VMware weathered the storm and slowly recovered. By 2013, it had regained its position as one of Silicon Valley’s largest tech companies with over 4500 employees worldwide and boasting more than $2 billion in annual revenue. They are also worth over $20 billion and are considered a blue-chip company whose shares have been included in many stock market indices, such as the S&P 500 Index, since 2010.

2. Cisco

Cisco Systems Inc. is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in San Jose, California, USA. It designs, manufactures, and sells networking equipment. Many of its products are based on Internet Protocol (IP), used in virtually all computing devices that connect to the Internet.

The History of Cisco: What to Know

Cisco Systems was founded in 1984 by two Stanford University computer scientists, Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner. The two were then married and were in charge of the university’s computer science department.

The name “Cisco” was derived from the city name San Francisco, so the company’s engineers insisted on using the lower case “cisco” in its early years.

Cisco’s first product was a multi-protocol router, one of the most advanced routing technologies at that time. However, it seems like Cisco has always been able to develop new products based on market demand or perhaps to create demand for its products. For example, it introduced a network management software called Network Registrar in 1990 and launched a series of remote access routers in 1991.

In 1994, Cisco acquired Crescendo Communications for $82 million, which helped Cisco enter the Ethernet business. In 1995, Cisco introduced a new router that supported traditional telephone and packet voice protocols. In 1998, it launched an online ecommerce site called Cisco Marketplace, where customers could order small quantities of merchandise over the Internet.

The early 2000s saw Cisco expand into many different markets such as security, VoIP (voice-over IP), wireless technology, and storage area networking. It has over 74,000 employees across more than 170 countries worldwide. Their products have been used to create everything from mobile phones to televisions to medical imaging systems. They are considered one of Silicon Valley’s most successful companies, with a current market cap of $219 billion.

The Founding of Cisco: How it Happened

It all started on a sunny summer day when two Stanford Ph.D. candidates, Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner, were working on their research project, which dealt with how data was transmitted over computer networks. It was then that they decided to quit academia and try to make a living from technology. Little did they know that Cisco would become one of Silicon Valley’s major businesses and serve as an integral part of our modern economy by now!

At its founding in 1984, Cisco was an $18 million startup. The company’s first product, a router, was launched in 1986 and became the world’s first commercially successful router. The company’s early growth was driven by the Fast Ethernet standard in 1994, the dot-com boom in 1999 and 2000, and the Internet boom of 2001. The stock price rose from $86 in 1993 to $8064 just five years later. By the time Cisco celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014, it had a more than $200 billion market capitalization.

As of 2021, Cisco was one of the world’s leading technology companies with more than $50 billion in revenue. It employs approximately 74,000 people worldwide, including about 8,000 engineers and designers across 35 countries.

What Are The Biggest Tech Companies Located In California?

1. Apple Inc.

Based out of Cupertino, California, it was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne on April 1, 1976. The company employs around 85,000 people worldwide and has an annual revenue of $234 billion. They offer a wide range of consumer electronics, including mobile phones, tablets, personal computers, smartwatches, and televisions.

The History of Apple Inc: What to Know

The world’s most valuable tech company started as a humble store run by two college dropouts and grew into a $205 billion entity. Apple was founded on April 1, 1976, when Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne took on a manufacturing contract for The Byte Shop, a computer store in Mountain View, California. The trio of co-founders officially incorporated their business as Apple Computer Inc. on January 3, 1977.

By that time, they had already sold 175 units of their Apple I personal computer kit (which retailed at $666.66). From there, it was history: Apple went public in 1980; launched its iconic Macintosh line in 1984; introduced iTunes and iPhone in 2001; debuted the iPad in 2010; acquired Beats Electronics for $3 billion in 2014; became one of only three companies to reach a market cap over $700 billion the same year—and more.

The Founding of Apple Inc: How it Happened

Apple’s history as a company traces back to 1976, when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were just boys. The two Steves, who had met in high school, were close friends who shared an interest in electronics. They first worked together on pranks and then on building computers.

In 1975 Jobs was working for Atari, the video game company. He needed someone to design a circuit board for one of their products — a game called Breakout. Jobs brought Wozniak on board as a contractor and gave him $700 for the job. The two collaborated so successfully that Apple was born soon afterward.

2. Facebook

Facebook is a leading tech company in California, with headquarters located in Menlo Park. The social media giant maintains an engineering office located at 1 Hacker Way and also has additional offices throughout Silicon Valley. Facebook is one of many top tech companies that began in Silicon Valley. To achieve its mission, Facebook provides a platform for users to connect with friends, family members, celebrities, or other people they may know through personal profiles and pages created for brands or organizations.

The History of Facebook: What to Know

Facebook is a social networking service headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg with his Harvard College roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.

The founders had initially limited the website’s membership to Harvard students; however, later, they expanded it to higher education institutions in the Boston area, the Ivy League schools, and Stanford University. Facebook gradually added support for students at various other universities and eventually to high school students as well. Since 2006, anyone who claims to be at least 13 years old has been allowed to become a registered user of Facebook, though variations exist in this requirement, depending on local laws. The name comes from the Facebook directory given to American university students.

Facebook held its initial public offering (IPO) in February 2012, valuing the company at $104 billion, the largest valuation for a newly listed public company. It began selling stock to the public three months later. Facebook makes most of its revenue from advertisements that appear onscreen.

Presently, there are over 2billion active users on Facebook, doubling as the most extensive social media network worldwide. In November 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was changing its name to “Meta” to embrace AI further.

The Founding of Facebook: How it Happened

In February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched facebook.com from his Harvard University dorm room. The website was designed to help students connect, and within two months, more than half of the student body was on board.

Eventually, Facebook grew into a site that anyone could join. Zuckerberg’s idea was to open it up to everyone to make money from advertisers. In 2006, he dropped out of Harvard and moved to Palo Alto, California, to continue developing the site and making it grow. At that time, Facebook had only 12 employees.

In 2007, Facebook launched the “news feed,” which allowed users to stay connected with their friends by showing them when they updated their profiles or added photos. By 2008, the site was open to anyone over 13 years of age with a valid email address.

In August of 2012, Facebook made a deal with Microsoft in which Bing became its default search engine on the social network. The agreement also included an ad partnership between both companies in which Bing would serve ads on Facebook’s search results page.

In less than 10 years, Facebook has gone from a small startup company to a company worth more than $25 billion and offers its members a way to connect with old friends and make new ones worldwide.

What Are The Largest Private Tech Companies In California?

1. Workday Inc.

Workday is a SaaS company that provides cloud HR, financial, and operations management solutions. The company is headquartered in Pleasanton, CA. Workday’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform combines human capital management (HCM), enterprise performance management (EPM), and financial systems to provide total workforce solutions to companies worldwide. These services include talent acquisition, compensation, rewards, payroll and leave administration, and strategic human capital analytics.

Its customers include organizations across various industries, including manufacturing, retail, health care, and government. Its offerings are delivered through its customer service organization. It also offers consulting services for process design, implementation, and integration of its products into customers’ existing business processes. In addition to its headquarters in Pleasanton, it has offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa & Middle East regions. It serves approximately 2200 clients globally with over 8 million end-users across more than 70 countries on six continents.

The History of Workday Inc.: What to Know

Workday was founded in March 2005 by David Duffield, founder and former CEO of ERP company PeopleSoft, and former PeopleSoft chief strategist Aneel Bhusri following Oracle’s hostile takeover of PeopleSoft in 2005.

The product provides payroll, benefits administration, talent management, and applicant tracking capabilities to large companies with complex HR systems. In March 2014, it had $1 billion in annual revenue. In April 2015, it reached a $2 billion annual revenue run rate. In January 2016, Workday announced its revenues had grown from $400 million to over $1 billion in just two years since 2013. It also acquired Adaptive Insights, cloud-based financial planning and analysis tool for businesses.

 As of May 2018, Workday has more than 1,500 customers, including notable organizations such as ADP, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Cisco Systems Inc., Cox Automotive Inc., Farmers Insurance Group LLC, and Intuit Inc. It has also been named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For every year since 2011.

The Founding of Workday Inc.: How it Happened

The founders of the software company Workday Inc. (WDAY) met at PeopleSoft, where they worked together for several years before PeopleSoft was acquired by Oracle Corp. (ORCL) in 2005. Ayla and Duffield began working on a new human resources (HR) software concept. The two filed the first patent for their vision with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in January 2006. After leaving Oracle, Aneel Bhusri joined Duffield and Ayla as a co-president and co-CEO of Workday in March 2005, one month after its incorporation. The company received $6 million in series A funding from New Enterprise Associates in June 2005, followed by an additional $14 million seed round from Greylock Partners.

Workday’s core product is a human resources management system (HRMS), designed to automate administrative tasks such as time tracking, workforce management, and payroll processing. Its HRMS system covers multiple areas, including benefits management, compensation planning, recruiting and talent management, learning management, payrolls, and time tracking. Other related products include enterprise planning tools for financial management, analytics tools for business intelligence reporting, and collaboration tools such as wikis, blogs, and forums.

2. Applied Materials

Applied Materials Inc. is one of the world’s largest semiconductor capital equipment providers, with a market cap near $53 billion. The company offers a variety of products and services used to develop and manufacture semiconductor chips and thin-film transistor liquid crystal display panels (TFT-LCDs), which are used in televisions and computer monitors.

Applied Materials, Inc. provides materials engineering solutions used to produce new chips and advanced displays. It operates through the following segments: Semiconductor Systems, Applied Global Services, Display, Adjacent Markets, and Corporate and Other.

It also includes products for manufacturing semiconductor devices used for power management applications. The Corporate and Other segment includes corporate operations and its solar business segment, which provides capital equipment services to service providers in the photovoltaic industry. Its products include thin-film transistor LCDs, flexible OLED displays, glass substrates, 3D NAND memory, data storage devices, power management integrated circuits, and image sensors.

The History of Applied Materials: What to Know

Applied Materials is a fascinating company. Founded in 1967, the company has been at the forefront of many significant technological developments throughout its history.

Applied Materials was founded by James “Jim” Morgan and Michael “Mike” McDonnell as a Silicon Valley startup with just $50,000 in capital investment. The first employee hired by Jim and Mike was also their first salesman: a Stanford University student named Gordon Moore.

Moore would later leave Applied to co-found Intel Corporation and establish Moore’s Law — the observation that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.

When it was first launched, the company’s flagship product was an automated diffusion furnace used to create the silicon wafers used in semiconductor manufacturing. Over time, Applied Materials expanded its product line to include equipment for other steps in semiconductor manufacturing. In 2004, it acquired rival Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates for $4.9 billion in cash and stock, making it even larger. Today, Applied Materials’ products are used in every step of the semiconductor manufacturing process, from wafer fabrication to packaging and testing after chips have already been made.

The Founding of Applied Materials: How it Happened

The story of Applied Materials is how a group of pioneers built the world’s leading supplier of tools to enable the fabrication of semiconductors, displays, and other advanced-material products.

This dynamic industry, developed in America over the last 50 years, has enabled a wave of innovation in electronics, computing, communications, and manufacturing that is coming to fruition as new industries are being created.

The development of silicon wafers and fabrication equipment that made it possible to manufacture chips has been a remarkable innovation story. But it was only part of an even greater transformation that saw significant advances in display technologies for computers, televisions, mobile devices, lighting systems; solar cell production; and other fields.

Applied Materials has been at the center of this evolution since our founding by Michael A. McNeilly in 1967. Dennis Alter and Gary Villanueva joined him, and they began making tools for semiconductor manufacturers who were beginning to make chips with more than one layer.

What Are The Largest Publicly Traded Tech Companies In California?

1. Intel

Founded in 1968 by Gordon E. Moore and Robert Noyce, Intel Corporation is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. The company employs over 100,000 people worldwide and has an annual revenue of $55 billion. For eight consecutive years, they have been recognized for their corporate responsibility practices by being named one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies. Their products include microprocessors, chipsets, motherboards, flash memory devices, network interface controllers, and embedded processors.

The History of Intel: What to Know

Intel was founded in 1968 by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore. Initially, the company was called N M Electronics and had a capital of $2,000. The name was changed to Intel when it became apparent that the company would be manufacturing semiconductor devices. The first product of Intel was known as a memory chip, or the 4004. It was created in partnership with Busicom and had a capacity of 2 kilobytes, and it was used in calculators and adding machines.

In 1971, Intel launched its first microprocessor chip, which had 256 bytes of memory. In 1973 they released a microprocessor chip with 4 kilobytes, followed by one with 8 kilobytes of memory in 1974. 1976 saw Intel create the 8086 processor chip with 16-bits instead of 8-bits as their previous chips did. This processor soon became one of the most popular computer chips. It is still being used today in many different forms, such as the 15-bit Pentium processor that has been modified to work with 32-bit software applications.

Intel has been named one of Forbes’ Best Employers for Women in 2017 and 2018, and it was included on their list of Top 50 Employers for Millennials in 2016 and 2017. While that may not sound like much, it shows that Intel understands how to attract top talent by offering competitive benefits and perks (like flexible work hours) while keeping costs low. It helps that they also offer free college tuition to employees who work at least 30 hours per week.

The Founding of Intel: How it Happened

It all started when an engineer at Motorola named Gordon E. Moore noticed a trend while figuring out how much space it would take to store transistors on a computer chip. As he was calculating, he realized that as transistor density increased over time, so did their cost per square inch. That’s when he came up with Moore’s Law: the number of transistors that can be packed inexpensively onto a circuit board will double every 18 months, Computerworld reported.

This meant that computers could get twice as powerful for half the price roughly every two years. And since then, his prediction has held for more than 50 years. In fact, Intel and other companies have built upon Moore’s Law to create faster chips and cheaper processors. Today, Intel is known as one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world, with 121,000 employees and a revenue of $79.02 billion as of 2021.

2. Google LLC

Google LLC is an American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products, including online advertising technologies, search engines, cloud computing, software, and hardware. The company’s headquarters are in Mountain View, California, but its main offices are in the neighboring city of Palo Alto. The company started in a rented garage on San Antonio Road but has now expanded to cover several large buildings.

The History of Google: What to Know

In the early 1990s, two students at Stanford University, Sergey Brin and Larry Page created an early search engine for their research. They called it BackRub. The first version was written in 1996. BackRub was essentially a searchable web index created by Stanford computer science students and professors. In 1997, Page and Brin renamed their search engine “Google,” a play on the word “googol,” which is the number represented by a one followed by 100 zeros.

In 1998, Google received its first funding from Andy Bechtolsheim, co-founder of Sun Microsystems. In 1999, Google moved to its office at 165 University Avenue in Palo Alto. A year later, Google launched AdWords, a pay-per-click advertising program. This is one of Google’s main sources of revenue today. In 2002, Google went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol GOOG. The company was valued at $27 billion on its first trading day. During this time, Yahoo! offered to buy out Google for $3 billion, but Brin and Page declined because they thought they could do better as an independent company.

On August 14, 2004, Google went public. Google’s founders offered 19,605,052 shares at $85 each in the initial public offering. An online auction was used to sell the shares. Google had a total market capitalization of more than $23 billion at the time of the IPO. The company has since rapidly grown to offer many products and services beyond Google Search, many of which hold dominant market positions.

The Founding of Google: How it Happened

Google was named after the mathematical term googol, which refers to the number one followed by 100 zeros. The name was a whim of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, looking for a shorter name for their fledgling search engine.

In September 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin published a research paper titled The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine at an academic conference on information technology. It would be another eight months before Google launched publicly as a search engine accessible to everyone. Though it’s hard to believe now, there was once a time when people were skeptical that Google could ever replace traditional search engines like Yahoo! or AltaVista. Today Google is one of the most successful companies ever built, and its founders are two of the richest men in America.

What Are The Forgotten Tech Companies In California?

1. Hewlett-Packard

HP Inc. was an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. It developed personal computers (PCs), printers and related supplies, and 3D printing solutions.

The History of Hewlett-Packard: What to Know

Hewlett-Packard traces its roots to the beginning of Silicon Valley, which has been at the forefront of technology ever since. HP has been there, from the first pocket calculator to the latest smartphone.

The company was founded in 1939 by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. It started in a garage, as so many great companies do. It began with an audio oscillator used by Disney for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice scene from Fantasia. The company grew from there. The founders were both engineers, and they wanted to build a company that ran on innovation and trust. This policy was known as “The HP Way,” It is still considered one of the best corporate policies ever developed.

HP’s first wave of success came with its line of scientific calculators used by NASA during the Apollo space program in the 1960s. In 1965, HP went public, putting it on a path to growth and expansion, particularly when it entered the personal computer market in 1980 with its Vectra model.

Since then, the company has grown to become one of the world’s largest technology companies, with annual revenue of more than $48 billion for the fiscal year ending October 31, 2013. On September 3, 2001, HP stated that it had signed an agreement with Compaq to merge the two companies. HP and Compaq officially merged in May 2002, following a shareholder vote. Before this, plans to merge the firms’ product teams and product lines were underway.

The Founding of HP: How it Happened

The founding of Hewlett-Packard (HP) can be traced back to William R. Hewlett and David Packard, two engineering students at Stanford University. The company was started due to their need for equipment that could not be found anywhere else, leading them to design and manufacture parts themselves.

Their first product was an audio oscillator only able to produce sound at frequencies within human hearing range; it sold for $54 per unit in 1939, netting HP about $10,000 by December that year. It wasn’t long before the two realized they could sell the oscillators to other companies. HP was born.

The Largest Tech Companies in California FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How many tech companies are there in California?

California is home to Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world. Currently, there are over 600,000 tech companies in the state.

What is the most powerful Company in Silicon Valley?

Apple, whose headquarters are in Cupertino, Santa Clara County, right in the heart of Silicon Valley, is the most powerful company not only in Silicon Valley but globally.

What was the first tech company in Silicon Valley?

Hewlett-Packard was the first technology company in Silicon Valley.

How did Silicon Valley start?

A strong science research base headquartered in area institutions, copious venture money, and steady US Department of Defense investment were all elements that contributed to the formation of Silicon Valley. The leadership of Stanford University was particularly crucial throughout the valley’s early development.

How did Silicon Valley get its name?

Silicon Valley was originally known as San Jose Valley. It got its name from the silicon wafers that it came to produce rather than the material itself.

Are there tech company hubs in California outside of Silicon Valley?

Yes, there are several tech hubs in Southern California and the Bay Area, but only Silicon Valley is known as a tech hub.

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