For a Tech Company: Location, Location, Location

Sybase CEO John Chen on moving the company from Emeryville, just across the Bay from San Francisco, south and east to Dublin, California -- a suburb on the other side of a small range of hills and right next door to Livermore and Pleasanton:
Q. You recently moved your offices to Dublin, Calif., east of the Bay Area. Is it a plus or a minus to be farther away from Silicon Valley?

A. We’re closer! When we were in Emeryville it would take me a lot longer to get to Palo Alto than Dublin. There are better traffic patterns. Distance was a wash. I decided a few years back that we needed a corporate identity that looks like a billion-dollar company.

I needed to get everyone together and give them a Class A environment. That’s one of the key drivers to really keep our employees happy, with state-of-the art features. We have exercise facilities and we have a great cafeteria, we have child care and an onsite preschool. We’re a different kind of Silicon Valley company. We don’t serve beer.


2 Responses to "For a Tech Company: Location, Location, Location"

Anonymous said... 8/26/2006 12:06 PM

A patriarchal CEO moves the company headquarters farther from the urban center. Restricts the supply of beer. What's the news?

John Morris said... 8/27/2006 1:47 PM

Yes this is a total non news post. I think that it fits the general and entirely logical pattern that one would expect.

It is the company in it's start up phase and or the small company that benefits so much by close proximity and a dense entrepreneurial pool. They don't all have the money to have in a big in house staff or fancy facilities like cafeteria's and health clubs etc.. ( let's omit the dot com bubble period since that was a time when a lot of people had too much cash in relation to thier brains and wasted it )

A company like GE is less dependent on it's imediate environment than a small firm.
So anyway, a relatively mature firm like Sybase making a move like this is not too interesting.

The only really interesting point was the one about highway traffic and it's strangling effects on the Valley.

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