Bay Area Council and Silicon Valley Leadership Group Exploring Partnership to Establish Nation’s Most Influential Business Group

First-of-its-kind partnership would represent hundreds of innovative businesses across both Silicon Valley and the greater Bay Area 

SAN FRANCISCO AND SAN JOSE, Calif. (March 5, 2024) – Two of California’s leading business associations – the Bay Area Council (BAC) and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) – today announced they are in partnership discussions to create the nation’s most influential business association representing the world’s most dynamic economic region.

At the direction of their respective Board leadership committees, BAC President and CEO Jim Wunderman and SVLG CEO Ahmad Thomas have formally launched a process to create a new, unified organization. The association, if finalized and approved, would bolster and accelerate California’s business competitiveness, innovation, and investment agenda.

A combination of BAC and SVLG will leverage hundreds of innovative businesses and key regional stakeholders including our major universities, to advocate at all levels of government for the business and policy needs of Silicon Valley’s leading technology companies and the Bay Area’s largest employers.

The two business groups have strong track records of historic achievements across the region – from promoting economic development to infrastructure modernization to investments in housing, education, and health care. Recognizing the transformational potential of AI technology, the business community has an extraordinary opportunity to come together and set a course that will take California and the nation into the next era of innovation and job creation.

Kristina Lawson, Chair, Bay Area Council; Managing Partner, Hanson Bridgett:
“A partnership between BAC and SVLG will be transformative for our region, bringing to bear the collective power not only of our two organizations but the combined strength of the hundreds of companies and organizations we represent across many industries. A unified organization that harnesses the power of the region’s business community has the awesome potential to create once-in-a-generation change that can bring profound benefits to the Bay Area, California, and beyond.”

Jed York, CEO, San Francisco 49ers; Chair, SVLG Board of Directors:
“Silicon Valley is the heart of our innovation ecosystem. And the innovation ethos that was born here 50 years ago has expanded to virtually every corner of the greater Bay Area. A clear need has emerged for the business community to come together to harness our combined influence and impact for the good of all our communities. We have a unique opportunity in front of us to work with our colleagues at the Bay Area Council to do so and to lay out a new vision of the future for the Bay Area. The time to act is now.”

The leadership committees of both organizations have approved resolutions to formally explore a partnership, collaborating over the next year, towards the goal of a new, unified organization.

Ahmad Thomas, CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group:
“This is a pivotal moment for our region – one that holds the potential to unleash a new wave of innovation, investment, and inclusive economic growth across the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. Establishing a new, unified entity that would harness the strengths of our two storied organizations would be a win-win for business and the community as a whole, while charting the course to reimagine 21st century business competitiveness.”

Jim Wunderman, President and CEO, Bay Area Council:
“The Bay Area and Silicon Valley are one of the most powerful engines of technological innovation, scientific discovery and economic production in the world and need an equally powerful voice to ensure our competitive dominance. Bringing together the combined resources of these two great organizations would create an unparalleled platform from which to advocate for our region’s interest, overcome our biggest challenges and provide the visionary leadership needed to grow and prosper.”

About the Bay Area Council:
The Bay Area Council is a business-sponsored, public-policy advocacy organization for the nine-county Bay Area. The Council proactively advocates for a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for everyone who lives here. Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council is widely respected by elected officials, policy makers and other civic leaders as the voice of Bay Area business. Today, more than 300 of the largest employers in the region support the Bay Area Council and offer their CEO or top executive as a member. Our members employ more than 4.43 million workers and have revenues of $1.94 trillion worldwide. Learn more at

About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group:
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) is the leading business association representing the innovation economy and its ecosystem. Founded by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, SVLG has worked for five decades to address issues that affect the region’s economic health and quality of life. Today, SVLG Is focused on accelerating the next era of Silicon Valley leadership, activated by our three new Centers of Expertise (COEs). Innovation & Technology, Sustainable Growth, and Inclusion & Belonging. SVLG members collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and contribute more than $3 trillion to the worldwide economy. For more information, visit