(Bloomberg) -- Larry Ellison plans to make Nashville the world headquarters for Oracle Corp., only a few years after relocating the tech giant from Silicon Valley to Austin.

Ellison said Oracle is developing a campus in the Tennessee city, moving it closer to a major health-care hub and reflecting the software giant’s ambitions in the industry. 

“It’s the center of our future,” Ellison, Oracle’s chairman, said at its health care summit in Nashville on Tuesday. Norman Foster, who created Apple Inc.’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, is designing the campus along a river in Nashville, Ellison said in a conversation with Bill Frist, a physician and former US Senate majority leader. 

Oracle makes most of its money on database, financial, and cloud infrastructure software but has targeted the health care industry for future growth. Ellison, the world’s 10th richest person, agreed to buy electronic health records company Cerner for $28 billion in 2021. Around that time, Oracle pledged to create 8,500 jobs by 2031 in the region as part of a $1.35 billion office development in Nashville, according to the Nashville Business Journal. 

The shift is potentially a significant boost for the area, which has been attracting corporations from across the US in recent years driven by the relatively cheap cost of living, low taxes and state incentives. Money manager AllianceBernstein announced its move from New York to Nashville in 2018 after evaluating 30 cities on attributes including housing, education and weather.

The metro area has for decades though pitched itself as a health-care hub and middle Tennessee is now home to 900 health-care companies, according to the Nashville Health Care Council, a group created about 30 years ago to promote the industry. 

HCA Healthcare Inc., which operates more than 180 hospitals across the country, was founded in Nashville in the late 1960s by members of the Frist family and Jack Massey. Community Health Systems Inc. and Brookdale Senior Living are also based in the Nashville area, and many more health-care firms have moved there in recent years, including eye pharmaceutical company Harrow Inc., which relocated from San Diego in 2019.

Best-known for its database technology, Oracle shifted its headquarters to Texas, in 2020, saying the move would give more flexibility to workers. The company still maintains a large employee base in California. 

Oracle had 4,200 employees in Austin as of September 2023, according to Opportunity Austin, a regional economic organization. “We are not sure yet what Oracle’s plans to move its HQ to Nashville means for its presence in Austin,” said Stacy Schmitt, the organization’s Senior Vice President. The software company “has made significant recent investments to expand its campus here just recently,” she said.

An Oracle spokesperson didn’t respond to a question about what the move means for its footprint in Texas.

The Nashville Business Journal, which earlier reported on Ellison’s comments about the new headquarters, noted that the company had more than 700 workers in the city at the end of 2023. It also said that construction hasn’t yet begun since Oracle paid $277 million for 70 acres of land on the East Bank of the Cumberland River. Nashville granted Oracle $175 million in incentives in 2021 for the development.

Ellison appeared to regret disclosing the intention to make Nashville its headquarters, saying at the conference — “I shouldn’t have said that.”

--With assistance from Pierre Paulden and Cécile Daurat.

(Updates with number of employees in ninth paragraph.)

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