Western Digital Moves Headquarters
The world’s largest disk drive maker, with revenues exceeding $13 billion annually, has moved its headquarters to San Jose from Irvine.
According to the OC Business Council, the company has 1400 employees in Irvine and 200 in Santa Ana so while the designation of headquarters has changed, much of their operations for business management, engineering, and functional support will remain at the Irvine location. Additionally, the Enterprise SSD team, previously in Santa Ana, and teams like it will be moving to Irvine. The reason is said to be a prioritization of Orange County jobs as stated by Lucy Dunn, the president and chief executive of the Orange County Business Council but some aren’t sure of this.
This comes as a change in the tide of some WD behavior since 2015 where roughly 1360 jobs spread across multiple offices had been cut in favor of contracting outside firms for development and manufacturing, and they’re not alone in their move away from Orange County. In February, Irvine based AutoAlert announced it would move its headquarters to Kansas City for tax incentives to grow the company in Missouri. Another departing business is the Rancho Santa Margarita-based Toastmasters International, who stated its plans to move headquarters to Denver by 2018, citing the high cost of being based in Orange County as the primary reason.
What is still unclear is the benefit for the move such as tax breaks or contracts with the city of San Jose to gradually migrate more of Western Digital’s operations north. With or without these incentives however, it looks like Western Digital is still sitting comfortably as one of the largest tech companies.