Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino Announces Plans to Step Down After the Board of Directors Concludes a Successful, Thorough Search for a Successor

SAN JOSE, CA, January 7, 2020 — Today, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group announced that after 23 years of dedicated service, Carl Guardino has decided to step down as CEO, once a successor has been appointed. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Board of Directors has initiated a thorough search for the organization’s next leader.

“The positive and proactive impact we have collectively achieved to advance our companies and our communities these past 23 years has been the highlight of my professional career to date,” Guardino said. “I will always have tremendous pride in our accomplishments of bringing together diverse voices for the common good, and I’m equally excited about the path ahead. My twin professional passions are America’s Innovation Economy and our ability to build stronger communities that benefit all of us. I believe my next step will be an impactful role that accomplishes both of these goals.”

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, created in 1978 by Hewlett Packard Co-Founder David Packard, is driven by 350 of the most respected employers that fuel America’s Innovation Economy.

“As a former Mayor and the current Governor, I’ve witnessed firsthand for two decades Carl’s ability to get hard goals accomplished. His ability to coordinate and collaborate with diverse interests may not seem unique today, but it certainly was a decade and two decades ago when we started working together,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “I look forward to what lies ahead for Carl and the future leadership role that he will play.”

“Carl Guardino and the Leadership Group have had an incredible impact on our region, state and nation, successfully passing 14 regional or statewide ballot initiatives for traffic relief, housing affordability, homeless services and a quality environment,” said Steve Milligan, Silicon Valley Leadership Group Board Chair and Western Digital CEO. “In addition to enhancing our economy through public policy, Carl has found creative and caring ways to help the most vulnerable in our communities, such as through the creation and direction of the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, Santa Run Silicon Valley, and the Heart & Soles’ Salad Bars for Schools Run.”

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who leads the 10th largest city in America, added, “In Carl’s 23 years of leadership, I don’t know of another human being who has had a greater impact for the good of our Valley, spearheading initiatives for badly-needed transit investment, affordable housing, education improvements, philanthropy, or simply bringing together 25,000 people who delight in running together on a Thanksgiving morning. Carl’s decision leaves a large void atop a very important organization in our region.”

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s contributions also extend beyond regional and state boundaries, as U.S. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo noted, “For 23 years Carl Guardino’s unique leadership – the art of motivating people to act toward achieving a common goal – has been the inspiration for action through the Leadership Group. Carl’s knowledge, integrity and ability to develop consensus to achieve big dreams are his legacy, and I join the many thousands of people in gratitude for his leadership, countless achievements and effective partnership at home and in Washington, DC. We are a better region and people because of Carl Guardino.”

California State Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymembers David Chiu and Evan Low said, “Carl Guardino has been a treasure for the entire Bay Area. He deserves tremendous credit for so many of the successes of Silicon Valley and our broader region during his remarkable 23-year tenure at the Leadership Group’s helm, as he successfully championed solutions to the many challenges facing our region. While we will deeply miss his leadership, we wish him all the best as he begins his next life chapter.”

During his tenure as CEO, Guardino also oversaw many programs created to tackle regional and statewide priorities, including the creation of Housing Trust Silicon Valley, now celebrating its 20th year of success. Housing Trust Silicon Valley CEO Kevin Zwick said, “Carl leads by example – putting his time and talent on the line and giving it his all until the problem is solved or goal is achieved. Silicon Valley is engaged in affordable housing today in a way that is beyond the scope of any private or philanthropic effort for housing. This can all be traced back to Carl and his efforts to put affordable housing high on the agenda for Silicon Valley companies and executives, including the creation of the first voluntary, public-private housing trust fund, which became our Housing Trust Silicon Valley, and his efforts leading statewide campaigns to create billions for affordable housing in California.”

CEO Transition Next Steps

Guardino will remain in his current role and work with the Executive Board throughout the search process, which will be led by Board Chair Steve Milligan. “Carl’s commitment to staying on as CEO throughout the search process will ensure a seamless transition, and underscores his dedication to our ambitious mission and goals, as well as his values-driven leadership approach,” continued Milligan.

Silicon Valley Leadership Group Achievements and Highlights

Since joining Silicon Valley Leadership Group as CEO on January 1, 1997, Guardino has successfully executed initiatives focused on core areas for the group, resulting in many of the following contributions to the Bay Area region, state and nation:

1. Establishment of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation which has forged a myriad of new traditions that have built community by bringing people together to serve causes bigger than themselves in wonderful ways, such as:
>> The Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot” – In its first 15 years, we have raised and contributed nearly $10 million to help needy families throughout our region, becoming the largest timed Thanksgiving Day run in the world for seven straight years.
>> The Santa Run Silicon Valley, presented by Google – In its first eight years, our “Santa Run” has contributed more than $500,000 to Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice, and has donated more than 4,400 children’s books to Reading Partners Silicon Valley.
>> The Lam Research Heart & Soles (Salad Bars for Schools) Run & Walk – In its first six years, we have provided nutritious salad bars to nearly 200 public schools, serving 145,000 children, as well as providing thousands more with nutrition, health and exercise programs through partnerships with the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs and other service providers throughout the region.

2. Creation of Housing Trust Silicon Valley – Now entering its 20th year, our Housing Trust Silicon Valley has secured more than $200 million in voluntary contributions, leveraging more than $2.5 billion in private developments, already serving more than 27,000 individuals and families to secure affordable homes in the high-cost Bay Area.

3. Local Traffic Relief Ballot Initiatives totaling more than $30 billion in funding for the Valley:
>> 1996: A nine-year 1/2 cent sales tax that delivered 18 road and transit improvements, each delivered on-time and on-budget.
>> 2000: A 30-year 1/2 cent sales tax to fund the first segment of the BART extension into Milpitas and San Jose, and improve Caltrain, Light Rail, express buses and buses
>> 2008: A 30-year 1/8 cent sales tax to fund the operational costs of the BART extension
>> 2016: A 30-year 1/2 cent sales tax for key road and transit improvements, including Segment Two of the BART extension and Caltrain electrification and expansion

4. Co-Leadership of Statewide Housing Bond Campaigns, totaling $11 billion
>> 2002: One of only two organizations to co-lead a $2.1 billion housing bond
>> 2006: One of only two organizations to co-lead a $2.85 billion housing bond
>> 2018: One of only four organizations to co-lead Propositions 1 and 2 to generate $6 billion to provide affordable housing and homeless housing

5. Co-Leadership of Regional Traffic Relief Ballot Initiative:
>> Regional Measure 3 in 2018: In partnership with SPUR and the Bay Area Council, we co-led the campaign to fund 35 key transportation improvements in the nine-County Bay Area, which will generate $4.45 billion in its first 25 years alone.

6. Reading Partners “1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds” Tutoring Initiative
>> In partnership with Reading Partners Silicon Valley and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, we secured nearly 750 caring adult volunteers to serve as tutors for at least one semester each, for children in the first through fifth grades to improve their reading comprehension and literacy.

7. Regional Flood Mitigation and Bay Protection through Measure AA in 2016
>> In partnership with Save the Bay and the Bay Area Council, we co-led the 2016 Measure AA campaign to secure $500 million for Flood Mitigation and Bay Protection.

8. Building a foundation for a 9-County or a 3-County transformative transit campaign
>> After years of leadership and effort, we are poised in 2020 for either a nine-County Bay Area transformative transit ballot campaign, or a three-County transformative Caltrain & Dumbarton Corridors Campaign.

9. Linking Housing, Land Use and Transit
>> Production: In the past 21 years, the Leadership Group has been the leading employer advocate for sustainable home developments located near transit, by endorsing and actively advocating for more than 300 home developments in more than 30 Bay Area cities and towns.
>> Production and Protection: Looking forward, we are poised to partner with all six of the Bay Area fixed rail transit providers, to thoughtfully consider current and future home and mixed-use developments at the 250-plus fixed-rail transit stations in nearly 70 Bay Area cities/towns.

10. Creating the “Community College to Career” Initiative to rebuild the Bay Area’s middle class while strengthening the diversity of our world-class companies
>> In partnership with 19 Bay Area Community Colleges, which collectively serve 360,000 students; 77 percent of whom are people of color and 54 percent female – the Leadership Group is identifying 7-9 key job clusters that can be successfully filled by students with a two-year Community College degree or certified coursework.


About Silicon Valley Leadership Group
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, represents more than 350 of Silicon Valley’s most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley including energy, transportation, education, housing, health care, tax policies, economic vitality and the environment.

Jessy Borges, Chief of Staff
(408) 501-7878

Pam Kelly, Sr. MarCom Manager
(408) 483-2410