back to article You live where you live ... and ex-SAP boss Bill McDermott lives in a house like this

While moving house and changing job remain among the most stressful things in life for mere mortals, Bill McDermott is swapping Palm Beach for Silicon Valley weeks after leaving SAP to run ServiceNow. The industry mogul has dipped into his fortune to spend $21.75m on a 11,000-square-foot abode in the ritzy enclave of Atherton …

  1. JimBob01

    What is this article?

    It only vaguely has a tech angle and seems to be mainly motivated by jealousy.

    Ok, a senior tech manager has more money than taste but is that newsworthy?

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: What is this article?

      This article is a BOOTNOTE,

    2. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: What is this article?

      Given the popularity of home renovation programmes and things like Escape to the Country on daytime TV it's reasonable to assume that people are interested in seeing the compromises someone's had to make when they only had $21m to spend on a new home.

      He could've had a lovely cottage in the Wye Valley for far less, and prettier landscapes to look over too. Oh well.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: What is this article?

        He could have had a similar house across Hwy 280 in Portola Valley, on 15 (or more!) acres, with a view of the South Bay (or Inversion Layer, weather depending) for less than half that. And his commute would have been roughly the same. Atherton is the single most expensive zipcode (94027) in the United States. Go North one block (Redwood City), or South one block (Menlo Park) and the property values plummet. I don't know about you, but to me a zipcode on my mailbox will never be worth millions of dollars.

        1. Mark192 Bronze badge

          It's not about the zip code

          It's about your neighbours.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: It's not about the zip code

            Don't be silly. The people in Atherton don't know their neighbors.

  2. Jim Mitchell

    "is resplendent with unapologetic Gone-with-the-Wind chintz" Chintz is a kind of fabric, so I'm very confused. Did somebody actually make a Gone In the Wind themed chintz fabric, and it is used in this house?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      "Did somebody actually make a Gone In the Wind themed chintz fabric, and it is used in this house?"

      A reference to "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" ?

    2. Alister Silver badge

      In contemporary language the word "chintz" and "chintzy" can be used to refer to clothing or furnishings which are vulgar or florid in appearance, and commonly in informal speech, to refer to cheap, low quality, or gaudy things.

      1. Goldmember

        UK readers may remember the IKEA advertising from around 15 or so years ago. "Chuck out that chintz"; encouraging prospective buyers to throw away old fashioned overstuffed couches, frilly curtains etc. and replace them with cheap, minimalist Swedish flatpack tat.

        But hey... I still remember the ad campaign after all these years, and much of the furniture in my place is from said establishment, so clearly there was method to the madness.

  3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    The nursery comes with a pre-built lemonade stand

    Surely the point of a kid's lemonade stand is that it has to be outside to sell to passers by? I can't see the owners of this sort of house letting passing riff-raff wander in to the nursery on the off chance there might be lemonade for sale.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: The nursery comes with a pre-built lemonade stand

      The people in Atherton wouldn't allow passing riff-raff on the street. Nor would they allow such a thing as a Lemonade Stand to exist within city limits. In fact, I rather suspect that children in Atherton are highly frowned upon unless they are kept behind closed, sound-proofed doors.

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        Re: The nursery comes with a pre-built lemonade stand

        No doubt the indoor kids-room lemonade stand contains a kid-sized office from which the lucky tyke can lord it over his own private H1-B lemonade stand worker, as befits a future captain of Silicon Valley industry.

        "Squeeze faster, maggot!! We have to make this quarter's numbers!"

  4. Victor Ludorum

    Not quite my taste

    I'll be honest, it's not quite my thing.

    I was looking for an IT angle - how fast is the broadband?

    1. robidy Silver badge

      Re: Not quite my taste

      Dunno, BT's broadband checker says address unknown...

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        Re: Not quite my taste


        So, from what I have heard about BT's ISP offerings, service would be about as fast in Atherton, California as it is for the average British BT customer? :)

  5. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    "Of course we... totally know what a butler pantry is..."

    Its where you store your extra butlers when they aren't being used, right? If you can afford a six-bedroom home in Atherton, you can definitely afford at least 3 or 4 butlers.

    1. Woza

      Re: "Of course we... totally know what a butler pantry is..."

      Extra butlers... aeeves, beeves, ceeves, deeves, eeves, feeves, geeves?

      (Apologies to Eddie Izzard)

    2. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

      Re: "Of course we... totally know what a butler pantry is..."

      The article was TL:DR, but is there really only 6 bedrooms in a $21M home? What a rip (off).

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        Re: "Of course we... totally know what a butler pantry is..."

        Atherton is one of the traditional residential areas for Silicon Valley royalty. Coincidentally, there was just a study that showed it is the most expensive residential zip code in the United States. More so than Beverly Hills, or Central Park West in New York City or The Hamptons outside of NYC, or any other well-known "home of the rich and famous" in the U.S.

    3. Mark192 Bronze badge

      I had to look it up up

      Originally a room for storing non - food items but in this context it's likely to be a second kitchen for actually cooking in.

      "A butler pantry is basically a kitchen within a kitchen. Its purpose is to allow you to do food preparation and clean up after meals without actually dirtying your main kitchen – the kitchen that people see. This makes it perfect for people that entertain frequently, or just want to keep their home looking clean and pristine at all times"

      Personally I achieve a better result by keeping the whole house for show and just living in the shed :)

      1. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: I had to look it up up

        presumably because it is expensive and slow to spark up the aga just to boil a cup of water for a pot noodle and a microwave might besmirch the diamond or gold worktops/splashbacks that I imagine are in the 'show' kitchen

    4. Goldmember

      Re: "Of course we... totally know what a butler pantry is..."

      It's the room where you wait for your slow-moving butler to shuffle his way in behind you, then quickly jump out over his head and lock him inside. Then stand in front of the locked door and see the pixellated tray he's carrying expose the weakness of the PS1 and jut out through a supposedly solid door.

      Oh, to be 11 again and have so much free time, to be able and willing to wander around Croft Manor without playing any levels.

  6. davenewman

    Why isn't this on the McMansions web site?

  7. simonlb Silver badge

    Invite Meg Whitman round?

    I'd only do that so I could push her down the stairs.

    1. knarf

      Re: Invite Meg Whitman round?

      She'd sue you for that... not for pushing her, but for showing her the stairs

  8. Joe Gurman


    .... a lot more modest abode than many American star athletes' cribs.

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