RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Former Cisco chair and CEO John Chambers on Thursday warned that a continued exodus of entrepreneurs and companies from California could mean more growth for North Carolina and other states.

Noting that startups he as an investor has made deals with are not looking at Silicon Valley as a destinationis bad news for the state, the tech industry icon warned California is “in trouble.”.

“Does this opportunity create opportunities for Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, my home state of West Virginia? Absolutely,” Chambers told CNBC in an interview Thursday. “You have to create the right environment for start-ups and we’ve learned that, with the pandemic, you can put your resources anywhere.”

While entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk have moved to Texas from California, tech giants such as Oracle and HP have chosen to move headquarters there.

In the Triangle, tech firm Avaya recently relocated its HQ to Durham although it kept other operations already located in California in place.

Chambers warned that the future doesn’t look too good for California right now.

“We’re in trouble. We’re a state that is taking an entitlement approach, it’s not a good state to do business,” Chambers said.

(By the way, North Carolina recently was selected recently by an economic development magazine as No. 1 for business.)

“You’re seeing many companies thinking about leaving and, even worse, none of my start-ups are thinking about coming to California. … “If California isn’t careful, they’re going to lose their leadership and the jobs created with it.”

His venture firm is J2C Ventures.

Cisco operates one of its largest corporate campsues in RTP.