Thursday, May 20, 2010

List Now at 141 Companies
That Have Left or Disinvested in California

Note: While the link that brought you here is interesting -- and I'll leave the data up -- more relevant is this July 15, 2010 posting:

Calif. Business Exodus 'Explodes' in 1st Half –
Total Doubles Entire Previous Year

What follows below is the original posting about the 141 companies . . .

Once again events indicate the difficulty in quantifying the extent that companies have left California. After I was mentioned in Investors Business Daily (see "Sunset In Taxifornia?") I was alerted to additional moves or disinvestments in California that I had not previously listed. Now that I've verified and added additional companies.

2010 - 4 Events Discovered

Hewlett-Packard: Just yesterday I learned that HP is expected to establish a new R&D center in Taiwan this September for notebook and desktop work. Computer R&D? Didn't that used to be a California hallmark? According to DigiTimes, "HP set up a Product Development Center in Taiwan in 2002, with staff expanding from 20 members initially to 700 currently." See DigiTimes, May 18: "HP expected to establish a new R&D center in Taipei."

Amonix Inc.: This Seal Beach company plans to build a $20 million factory in the Las Vegas area that will employ about 280 workers to build photovoltaic solar panels. This is a story of our tax dollars at work. According to Associated Press, "Amonix got $9.5 million in investment tax credits this year from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Of that, about $5.9 million will go toward the manufacturing plant in Nevada." See AP's "Company plans manufacturing plant for solar cells." Also, the Orange County Business Journal reports that "Amonix is one of Orange County’s most funded companies. In April, the company raised $129 million in a second funding round led by Menlo Park-based Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, which is known for alternative energy investments and counts former Vice President Al Gore as a partner. Amonix was started in 1989 in Torrance where it continues to have some facilities. See the OCBJ story "Solar Panel Maker Amonix Plans Plant in Las Vegas Area."

APL, a subsidiary of Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. of Singapore (and formerly known as American President Lines Ltd.),relocated their U.S. H.Q. from Oakland to Phoenix and their Long Beach Logistics Department to Colorado. It is unclear how many jobs are involved and how many are yet to be moved in 2010. The company employed between 300 and 400 people in Oakland. The San Francisco Business Times reported that "The relocation to Arizona is one of a series of cost-saving measures." See "American President Lines to land in Phoenix."

Western Digital Corp., headquartered in Lake Forest, will invest $1.2 billion in the next five years to expand its manufacturing operations in Malaysia. According to the Orange County Business Journal: "The company is set to build a 1.5 million-square-foot building for manufacturing disk drive parts and for research and development, according to a report from the government of Malaysia." Although the company has had a long presence in Malaysia it's noteworthy that a facility that produces such parts and conducts R&D, jobs that used to be done in California, along with the 10,000 new jobs, will be there, not here. See "Western Digital to Expand Malaysian Operations."

2009 - 1 Event Discovered

Pacer Stacktrain, Inc., has moved offices from Concord, Calif., to Dublin, Ohio. Details are difficult to discern, but an employee reports that staff members who declined the transfer lost their jobs. The move was confirmed in a company statement that it "implemented an organizational simplification and workforce reduction initiative in 2009 to move toward operations organized by function rather than by business unit and to consolidate operations into a centralized operational headquarters based in Dublin, Ohio. . . . During 2009, the Company reduced its workforce by 559 positions. . . ." Source: "Pacer 2009 Annual Report" (PDF).

2008 - 2 Events Discovered

Numira Biosciences announced its move from Irvine to Salt Lake City in June 2008. The company provides imaging solutions for researchers attempting to answer questions related to the onset and progression of disease, drug efficacy and drug safety. Its announcement is here (PDF). According to the Orange County Register, "CEO Michael Beeuwsaert said the major reasons for the move were 'taxes, quality of life and ability to recruit quality people.' But he added, 'The tipping point was when someone from the Orange County tax (assessor) wanted to see our facility to tax every piece of equipment I had.' (It’s called the business property tax.) 'In Salt Lake City at my first networking event I met the mayor and the president of the Utah Senate, and they asked what they could do to help me. No (elected official) ever asked me that in California,' he said." The comments are part of a longer Register story here.

Racing Optics Inc. moved from San Clemente to Las Vegas in 2008. According to the Orange County Register, the company sells more than 10 million peel-away protective shields for helmets, goggles and vehicle windshields annually. Company owners said most expenses are about 20% to 30% less in Las Vegas. See the full story at "Brothers move O.C. firm to Vegas."

2007 - 1 Event Discovered

Virgin Galactic moved from Mojave Air and Space Port in California's Kern County to Las Cruces, New Mexico where the new $250 million Spaceport America is being built, albeit with tons of taxpayer cash. It's difficult to discern when this occurred, but the move could have been in 2007. See "Virgin Galactic Sets Deal With New Mexico Spaceport" in and "Private space tourism taking off without us" at

2004 - 1 Event Discovered

Healthcare Management Solutions L.L.C. of Irvine leased space in Lewisville, Texas, and hired about 250 employees starting in 2004. See the Dallas Business Journal's story "Golden State is losing shine."

2003 - 1 Event Discovered

Network Associates, while keeping its headquarters in Santa Clara, put its largest employment center in Plano, Texas. Reports of the number of employees there have ranged from 770 to 1,100. It appears this occurred around 2003-2004. See "Golden State is losing shine" in the Dallas Business Journal.

2002 - 1 Event Discovered

Kinko's moved its Ventura and Oxnard offices to Dallas. The Dallas Business Journal reported that Gary Kusin, Kinko's president and CEO, said the relocation surpassed his goals that included a "lower total cost of doing business" and "the associated savings has contributed a great deal toward our profitability and successes in the past few years." See "Golden State is losing shine." and also in the Los Angeles Times, "Kinko's to Move Jobs to Dallas."

(The above will be folded into the following list of previously published companies in a future update. If you know of a company that should be listed for a move during the last decade, and which can be publicly verified, please contact me.)

It's no mystery what California’s problems are – high taxes, undue regulation, excessive fines and fees, high workers' comp costs, a legal environment stacked against businesses, and lengthy permitting requirements. Lifestyle factors such as traffic congestion, high housing costs – and in places like Los Angeles crime and a poor educational system – are additional factors. Such reasons contributed to California losing more than one million jobs in recent years

Other contributing factors include agencies being staffed with individuals unsympathetic or even hostile to business concerns. Excessive government spending by the legislature and some cities, especially Los Angeles and San Francisco, contributes to unpredictable government behavior.

No state agency keeps track of enterprises that move out of California or which companies elect to expand in other states even though they are headquartered here. That lack of knowledge is quite convenient for elected officials who deny that state's anti-business attitudes and policies hurt commercial enterprises. Hence, without a central repository, it's difficult to determine how many jobs are lost specifically because of California's unfriendly business environment.

In this blog, I've attempted to note events on a catch-as-catch can basis based on incomplete media reports and, more recently, verifiable tips from individuals. Below is a summary of what I've found since I started this effort in July, 2009. This imperfect and incomplete list is the "tip of the iceberg" about the loss of commercial enterprises in California:
  • Abraxis Health, a unit of Los Angeles-based Abraxis BioScience Inc., opened a new plant that will create 200 jobs in 2010 -- in Phoenix. This follows the company's Phoenix expansions that occurred in 2007 and 2008.
  • Alliance Company moved its headquarters from San Juan Capistrano to Colorado Springs in 2009.
  • Alza Corp. in 2007 eliminated about 600 jobs in drug R&D while also exiting its Mountain View HQ. At the time the company said that its 1,200-person Vacaville facility will continue to operate. But the Vacaville Reporter on Oct. 23, 2009 revealed that the plant is being offered for sale by J&J, its parent company. It's unclear if more layoffs are in the facility's future.
  • American AVK, a producer of fire hydrants and other water-related products, moved from Fresno to Minden, Nevada. Reportedly, 57 jobs were lost.
  • American Racing Equipment Inc. started in Northern California in the 1950s, later moved to Rancho Dominguez in the southern part of the state, and in 2003 moved its auto-wheel production to Mexico, ending most of its 47-year operation in California. The move eliminated about 300 California jobs. The company's president said," It's very difficult, if not impossible, to compete in a cost-competitive global environment ... given our costs here. At some point, you've got to do what you can to survive," adding that the company had been unprofitable for "three or four years."
  • Apple Computer, HQ'd in Cupertino, has expanded in other states, most recently with a $1 billion server farm planned for Maiden, North Carolina.
  • Applied Materials, a Silicon Valley company, in 2010 built its largest research lab in China and also opened a center in Singapore which will be its hub for semiconductor manufacturing around the world. In the past, facilities such as these are what helped make California a high-tech leader.
  • Audix Corporation relocated from Redwood City and to accommodate growth moved to a 78,000-square-foot facility in Wilson, Oregon.
  • Apria Healthcare Group of Lake Forest shifted jobs from California to Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City suburb. Apria moved 200 employees into the Sprint Nextel Corp. campus during 2009 and will expand there with additional employees (perhaps as many as 550) within four years.
  • Assurant Inc. cut 325 jobs in Orange County and consolidated positions in Georgia, Ohio and South Carolina in 2004. The company had assessed the cost of doing business at various locations and the move was designed to cut costs.
  • Barefoot Motors, a small "green" manufacturer of all-electric, all terrain vehicles for agricultural, industrial and other uses moved from Sonoma (possibly in 2009) and will grow in Ashland, Oregon.
  • Basin Street Properties, a developer that owns office buildings in Sacramento, moved its headquarters from Petaluma to Reno, Nevada (possibly was in 2009).
  • Bazz Houston Co. located in Garden Grove, has slowly been building a workforce of about 35 people in Tijuana. In early 2010 the company said it expects to move more jobs to Mexico, citing costs and regulations in Southern California.
  • Beckman Coulter, a biomedical test equipment manufacturer headquartered in Brea, relocated part of its Palo Alto facilities to Indianapolis, Indiana, two years ago. In early 2010, it's making a multimillion-dollar investment to expand and create up to 100 new jobs in Indiana. The company said the area offers a "favorable business environment and lower total cost of operations, plus a local work force with strong skills in both engineering and manufacturing."
  • Bild Industries Inc., which specializes in business news, directories and market reports, moved in 1995 from Van Nuys, a part of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, to Post Falls, Idaho.
  • Bill Miller Engineering, Ltd., suffering under the "hostile business climate" in California and Los Angeles County, moved from Harbor City to Carson City, Nevada in 1993. The company has grown substantially since.
  • BMC Select has conducted an unusual relocation. The company, which had shifted its headquarters from Idaho to San Francisco, relocated its H.Q. back to Boise in January 2010. The building materials distributor said that regaining its footing in Boise retained access to high-quality employees while reducing wage and occupancy costs.
  • BPI Labs, which formulates, manufactures, and fills personal care products for the health and beauty industry, relocated from Sacramento to Evanston, Wyoming, a move the company's owner called "very successful . . . . It felt good and I’ve never looked back.”
  • Braxton Technologies moved its headquarters and some operations from Pleasanton to Colorado Springs, Colo., where it created 100 new jobs in 2008.
  • BRP Billet Racing Products moved from Laguna Hills to Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2009.
  • Buck Knives after 62 years in San Diego moved to Post Falls, Idaho. The company's owner said he made the decision in 2004, the move met his every expectation, and the company and employees were helped by the relocation.
  • CalPortland Cement has announced in late 2009 closure of its Riverside County plant because of new environmental regulations from a state law (AB 32). The company's CEO wrote, "A cement plant cannot be picked up and moved, but the next new plant probably won’t be built in California meaning more good, high paying manufacturing jobs will be lost to Nevada or China or somewhere."
  • California Casualty Group left San Mateo for Colorado, cutting operating costs to remain competitive.
  • California State Automobile Association transferred 100 jobs from San Francisco starting in 2004 to Colorado Springs, where it then went on to create 400 new jobs. It is affiliated with the AAA.
  • CalStar Products Inc., headquartered in Newark, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area, in January 2010 was awarded $2.44 million in federal clean energy tax credits. The company said in the future it expects to build additional plants in the Mississippi Valley and the East Coast. In late 2009 CalStar opened a plant in Caledonia, Wisconsin.
  • CB Richard Ellis moved IT jobs from Newport Beach to Texas in 2010.
  • Cessna Aircraft Co. moved its Long Beach service center to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona in February 2009. About 65 percent of the 75 maintenance workers accepted Cessna’s offer to relocate from Long Beach to Mesa.
  • Chivaroli & Associates, a healthcare-related insurance service based in Westlake Village, Calif., moved a regional office to Spokane, Washington.
  • Commerce Overseas Corp., an aerospace supplier, moved from Tustin to Lenoir County, North Carolina, where it was expected to create 72 jobs and invest $4.3 million over the next three years. In a 2007 announcement, company CEO Chris Garville said, “After more than a year and a half of careful evaluation, COC found North Carolina was its best choice." He added that among its virtues was "The beauty of the state, the willingness of the workforce, the affordability of living and the 'Southern Hospitality.'"
  • CoreSite, A Carlyle Company, is delaying a Santa Clara project in 2009 while it expands its data center in Reston, Virginia.
  • The Council on Education in Management moved from Walnut Creek to Charlotte, NC, in 2000.
  • Creators Syndicate may move out of Los Angeles because it operates like a “banana republic.”
  • Creel Printing left Costa Mesa for Las Vegas in 2009 and SoCal lost 60 more jobs.
  • Dassault Falcon looked at building an aircraft services facility in Riverside County but instead located in Reno. The company said in May 2009: "The nearly 40,000 square foot facility will eventually be staffed by more than 40 highly skilled personnel.
  • DaVita Inc. moved its HQ from El Segundo in Los Angeles County to Denver in 2009 and expects to see millions of dollars in savings over time. This was a rather surprising move as El Segundo is generally considered to friendlier to business than the neighboring city of Los Angeles.
  • Deutsch Industrial Products Division closed its Banning, Calif., facility and moved the jobs to Tennessee in 2009.
  • Digital Domain, the Academy-Award-winning visual effects studio based in Venice, Calif., placed new studios in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Port St. Lucie, Florida, which combined will have about 500 employees. The facilities will allow the company to reduce costs while continuing to deliver cutting-edge work.
  • Dimensional Fund Advisors moved its headquarters from Santa Monica to Austin, Texas, with the move to be completed in 2010.
  • Ditech, the mortgage company headquartered in Costa Mesa, announced in January 2010 a 269-job cut and is moving most activities to the GMAC Financial Services (parent company) headquarters in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. In 2007, Ditech relocated some workers from Costa Mesa to Phoenix. A once robust Costa Mesa facility employing hundreds will be down to 20 or 30 workers.
  • DuPont Fabros Technology suspended a $270 million Santa Clara data center project in favor of one in Ashburn, Virginia, which it completed in 2008.
  • Edwards Lifesciences based in Irvine will expand with 1,000 employees – not in California but in Draper, Utah, according to an October 2009 announcement.
  • eLease, an online leasing company with $15 million in annual revenue in 2003, moved its headquarters that year From San Franscisco to St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • Electronic Arts virtually shut down its game developer Pandemic Studios in November 2009 with Los Angeles losing nearly 200 jobs. The video gaming blog Kotaku reported that EA's Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello "described California as a 'bloody expensive' place to employ workers, saying it costs the company two to three times more to employ developers in that state than it does in Montreal, the U.K., eastern Europe or China. . . . 'For good or for bad, we are taking down headcount in California because it is really expensive.'"
  • EMRISE Corp. completed its HQ move from Rancho Cucamonga to Eatontown, NJ, in May 2009. The company said the move "will result in additional annualized cost savings of approximately $1 million and facilitate improvements in operating efficiency. . . . The cost savings associated with relocating our corporate headquarters will start immediately. . . The aggregate total of these expense reductions will increase our profitability and cash flow in this and succeeding years and, over time, substantially improve our ability to further reduce our long term debt.”
  • Facebook, based in Palo Alto, will expand in a major way in Oregon by locating a custom data center in Prineville. It will be a 147,000-square-foot facility costing $180 million and will employ 200 workers during construction and another 35 full-time once operating in 2011.
  • Fidelity National Financial left Santa Barbara for Florida in 2003, spurred by California's "oppressive" business environment.
  • First American Corp., based in Santa Ana, opened a call center in March 2010 not in California but in Phoenix, where it expects to employ about 400 people within two years.
  • Fluidmaster was reported by the Los Angeles Times in October 2005 to have shifted some work from "two California plants" (I believe in San Juan Capistrano and Santa Fe Springs) to factories in Mexico and China.
  • Fluor Corp. moved its global headquarters from Aliso Viejo to Irving, Texas, with about 100 employees asked to relocate while the company planned to hire the same number there. In 2006, when Fluor moved into its new headquarters building, a company statement said: "The official dedication had a decidedly Texas theme" as a horseshoe was raised on the building, a time-honored Texas tradition.
  • Foxconn Electronics, a large contract electronics maker, moved some of its Fullerton operations to Dallas.
  • Glassical Designs moved from Irvine to Colorado Springs in 2006.
  • Gregg Industries, owned by Neenah Enterprises Inc. in Wisconsin, in 2009 closed a 300-employee foundry in El Monte foundry under pressure from the South Coast Air Quality Management District to make $5 million in upgrades. The company, with a 60-year history in California, didn’t want to make the investment in the difficult economic climate and decided instead to leave the state. About 230 employees lost their jobs.
  • Hawker Beechcraft Services closed its Van Nuys, Calif., maintenance facility on March 31, 2009, relocating to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA) in Mesa, Arizona.
  • Hayden Automotive, an auto-parts maker in Corona, Riverside County, is relocating its entire operation to facilities in Grapevine and Lewisville, Texas, in 2010. The company said it will lay off 73 people between April 1 and Oct. 1.
  • HCL America Inc., HQ'd in Sunnyvale, Calif., opened a $3.2 million facility in Cary, North Carolina, in 2008 with plans to hire 513 employees in the ensuing 5 years.
  • Helix Wind Inc. said in late 2009 that it may move its research and development, engineering, and testing departments from Poway, near San Diego to "more supportive" Oregon.
  • The Hershey Co. closed its chocolate plant in Oakdale, in Stanislaus County, Calif., and 600 jobs were lost by February 2008. Hershey's kisses with almonds and Hershey's syrup were transferred to a plant in Pennsylvania and Hershey's miniatures to a plant in Mexico.
  • Hewlett-Packard, HQ'd in Palo Alto, at various times has moved jobs to Tennessee and Texas.
  • Hilton Hotels Corp. in 2009 moved its corporate H.Q. in from its longtime location in Beverly Hills to a new office in McLean, Virginia.
  • Hino Motor Manufacturing USA moved from California to Williamstown, West Virginia, in 2007, where it now employs about 100 workers. The company has growth plans to "Raise Hino’s presence from medium-/heavy /heavy-duty trucks to all ranges of trucks" and an aggressive program to improve fuel economy and emissions. The company builds trucks under its own brand and also manufactures Toyota-branded vehicles.
  • Intel Corporation, HQ’d in Santa Clara, has left the state in major ways. The Sacramento Bee reported that the company spent $11 billion on plants in Oregon, Arizona and New Mexico in the last decade. It closed its Santa Clara plant in June 2009 and is quite open about the fact that it will not build another plant in California.
  • Intuit of Mountain View created a customer support office (110 people) in Colorado because of lower operating costs. Intuit also placed a data center near Quincy, Wash.; located Innovative Merchant Solutions LLC in Las Vegas as part of a $1.8 million investment in Nevada; and opened its Payroll Service Center in Reno several years ago where it has about 600 employees.
  • J.C. Penney closed it Sacramento call center and moved the work to five out-of-state centers.
  • Kimmie Candy Co., a manufacturer that was started in 1999, moved from Sacramento to Nevada in 2005. "I really don't have a lot of regrets about moving up to Reno," said owner Joe Dutra.
  • King Kelly Marmalade in Cerritos was sold in 2007, the work was shipped to Ripon, Wis., and the local plant closed. According to the Orange County Register, “Long-time owner John Bowen, a resident of Los Alamitos, calls the sale ‘a gut wrenching decision’ but he could no longer handle the regulations, fees, taxes and other government actions. . . . 'At one point we started making copies of the different city, county, state and federal government agencies that we had to deal with,' Bowen said. 'We posted their forms on one wall of the office. We quit at 44.'"
  • Klaussner Home Furnishings in closing its La Mirada manufacturing plant will maintain its NC and Iowa operations.
  • Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc. announced in February 2010 that it is reducing work at its Irvine plant, laying off 56 people, and will shift work to Malaysia and Singapore. The facility had been owned by Orthodyne Electronics Corp., which Kulicke & Soffa bought in 2008.
  • Inc. said in April 2010 that it's about to leave Hollywood/Los Angeles after a lengthy dispute over city taxes. A company official said: “With this business tax, the economic costs don’t justify staying here. Physical location is not important to us as an Internet business.” A move could mean a loss of 1,000 jobs. Part of the company may move to neighboring West Hollywood, Burbank or Glendale where tax rates are lower. Meanwhile, major growth will occur in LegalZoom's new office in Austin, Texas, where within four years the company may employ 600 people.
  • Lennox Hearth Products Inc. in Orange, Calif., will lay off 71 workers and by March 2010 will transfer the jobs to Nashville and Union City, Tennessee, "to reduce costs and increase operating efficiencies."
  • Malibu Boats is moving from Merced to Knoxville in 2010. Details are difficult to come by except that it's known some Merced employees are buying houses in Knoxville.
  • Mariah Power, a "green" manufacturer of small wind turbines, moved from California to Nevada and in 2009 teamed up with another company to begin production in Manistee, Michigan.
  • Maxwell America, a boating equipment maker, in February 2010 closed its Santa Ana offices and moved them to Hanover, Md. One reason given was the indirect impact of California environmental regulations. A company official said over the years many California boat builders relocated to the Midwest and East where they don't face the same restrictions.
  • McAfee, Inc. in a refreshingly candid admission in March 2010 acknowledged that it intentionally avoids hiring in high-cost, high-tax California. The company has transferred entire departments elsewhere and saves about 30 to 40% every time the company hires outside of the state. Texas is one of the locations to which McAfee has moved.
  • MiaSolĂ©, based in the Silicon Valley, was reported in January 2010 to be planning a 500,000-square-foot plant, which could be one of the largest solar factories in the United States. The location is not near its in Santa Clara headquarters but in the Atlanta, Georgia, area where its workforce eventually could exceed 1,000. The news came one week after MiaSolĂ© received $101.8 million in federal tax credits.
  • MK Sound (loudspeakers for the film and music industries and home users) moved all manufacturing from its own Chatsworth factory to China, perhaps in 2007 or 2008.
  • MotorVac Technologies announced in February 2010 that it's leaving Santa Ana for Ontario, Canada. MotorVac's CEO said he "really fought hard to keep MotorVac here, but unfortunately the numbers didn’t support it." The move cuts costs because it's new owner, UView, has its own plant with excess capacity in Canada. “And the general cost of doing business in California is much more expensive.”
  • Mulholland Positioning Systems, which manufacturers and sells wheelchair seating systems and adaptive components, moved about 25 jobs from Ojai, Calif., to Burley, Idaho, in 2005.
  • Nissan North America moved its headquarters from Gardenia, a Los Angeles suburb, to Nashville, Tenn., in 2006 and by 2008 the company completed construction on its new headquarters building in suburban Cool Springs.
  • Nordic Windpower, HQ'd in Berkeley, moved production to Pocatello, Idaho, in November 2008.
  • Northrop Grumman by 2011 will relocate its Los Angeles H.Q. to Northern Virginia. State economic development officials report that 300 jobs will relocate. It's the last major aerospace company to leave Southern California, the birthplace of the aerospace industry.
  • Novellus Inc. has made investment decisions not just on what California state policies are now but also on what they are expected to be in the future. Novellus is closing its San Jose production facility and is shifting all work to Tualatin, Oregon, in 2010. The company said California’s budget crisis is partly to blame for the decision to move jobs out of high-cost California.
  • Olhausen Billiards relocated its headquarters, manufacturing and distribution operations from the San Diego area to Portland, Tenn. The action, completed in June 2006, brought about 130-150 new jobs to the region. The company said moving to Tennessee helps to better manage costs and stay ahead of customer demands.
  • One2Believe, a specialty religious-toy maker, left California for East Aurora, New York.
  • Patmont Motor Werks, Inc. (GoPed manufacturer), after being hit by California regulators for hundreds of thousands of dollars in small fines even though his company has a stellar safety record, moved from Pleasanton to Minden, Nevada, in 2003.
  • Paragon Relocation Resources moved from Rancho Santa Margarita to Dallas, a move that was completed on January 1, 2010.
  • Pixel Magic, headquartered in Toluca Lake, Calif., (Los Angeles metro area), is locating a studio in Lafayette, Louisiana, where it will create 40 new jobs between 2010 and 2013. The company, which provides digital effects for motion pictures and television, said the Louisiana people they were in contact with have an immediate understanding of technology and data handling.
  • Precor stopped manufacturing fitness machines in California and has re-opened in North Carolina in 2010.
  • Premier Inc., the largest healthcare alliance in the nation, will move its HQ from San Diego to Charlotte, involving an investment of $17.7 million and adding 300 jobs in North Carolina. The announcement was made Oct. 14, 2009.
  • Pro Cal of South Gate, in Los Angeles County, a unit of Myers Industries, expanded its Sparks, Nev., operations to become the company’s primary West Coast production and distribution facility. Pro Cal is a plastics manufacturer of nursery containers and a big recycler. The year is unknown but is believed to have been after 2004.
  • Quantum Corporation, with a headquarters in San Jose and a facility in Irvine, expanded in Colorado Springs in 2007 with 90 new jobs there.
  • Race Track Chaplaincy of America started 2010 by shifting its headquarters from Los Angeles to Lexington, Kentucky. The non-profit group said it had wanted to relocate from the Hollywood Park Race Track for several reasons, one of which is the significant cost of doing business on the West Coast.
  • Red Truck Fire & Safety Company left Fresno for Minden, Nevada in 2007 because of California’s myriad fees and regulations that meant "death by thousand cuts."
  • Ropak West shut its manufacturing plant in La Mirada, Calif. in 2005, affecting 200+ employees, and moved equipment to their Illinois and Texas plants. A company insider said, "Costs and excessive regulations led to the move."
  • SAIC will move its headquarters east, from San Diego to McLean, Virgina, which the Washington Post called "Another Coup for Area." The announcement was made Sept. 24, 2009; it is unclear how many employees will move east in 2009 and 2010. Also, the company expanded not in San Diego but in Colorado Springs by placing 400 new jobs there in 2005.
  • Scale Computing, a data-storage developer and manufacturer, is leaving Silicon Valley for Indiana.
  • Schott Solar Inc. will close its sales and customer service office in Roseville and will relocate the office to Albuquerque, NM.
  • Shutterfly, HQ'd in Redwood City, an Internet-based publishing service, opened a manufacturing facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2007, a $31.5 million investment that was expected to create 233 jobs over the ensuing three years.
  • SimpleTech transferred its manufacturing work from Santa Ana to Asia in 2006.
  • Solaicx, based in the Silicon Valley, said in early 2010 that it will expand its manufacturing plant in Portland, Oregon. Solaicx received $18.2 million in federal tax credits as part of Washington's efforts to advance green energy.
  • SolarWorld, a maker of solar technology founded in Camarillo, consolidated manufacturing in Oregon after that state offered property tax abatement and business energy tax credits. The company will employ about 1,000 in Oregon by 2011.
  • Soy Labs LLC of Fairfield, Ca., has new space in Mexico, Missouri, and the company will relocate to that location soon, according to an April 2010 report.
  • Special Devices Inc. brought 250 jobs to Mesa, Arizona, from Moorpark, Calif.
  • StarKist headquarters has left San Francisco for Pittsburgh, Pa., apparently completing the move in 2010.
  • Stasis Engineering moved from Sonoma County to West Virginia, a "friendlier business climate."
  • Stata Corp., which specializes in data analysis and statistical software, moved from Santa Monica, California to College Station, Texas.
  • Sterling Electric, Inc., which was founded in Los Angeles in 1937 and moved to Irvine in 1968 relocated to Indianapolis effective March 1, 2007.
  • Tapmatic, a metalworking firm whose owners were "fed up with the onerous business environment," moved from Orange County, California to Post Falls in northern Idaho.
  • Teledesic moved to Washington state in anticipation of better capital gains.
  • Telematrix moved a facility from the San Francisco Bay Area to Colorado Springs in 2007.
  • Telmar Network Technology Inc. completed its move from from Irvine to Plano, Texas, in July 2009, consolidating some 150 workers there.
  • Term 101 Insurance moved its headquarters from Thousand Oaks in Ventura County to Colorado Springs in 2007.
  • Terremark postponed a Santa Clara project earlier this year to invest $50 million in a Culpeper, Va. project.
  • Terumo Cardiovascular Systems is moving R&D from OC to Ann Arbor, Michigan, involving 65 jobs and $3.5 million in investments.
  • Toyota Motor Corp. stopped making cars at the NUMMI plant in Fremont in early 2010, idled 4,700 workers, and moved work to Canada and San Antonio, Texas. (In May 2010 it was announced that Tesla Motors will purchase the factory to build its Model S and other cars after Toyota acquired a $50 million stake in Tesla.)
  • True Games Interactive Inc. will move its H.Q. from Irvine to Austin, Texas, where it expects to have about 60 workers by the middle of 2010.
  • TTM Technologies will leave L.A. & Hayward and move to other states and China to achieve big cost savings.
  • Twentieth Century Props of L.A. has gone out of business as film-making has moved to lower-cost states.
  • moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Reno, a loss for California in that the company is a leader in web-based patient education content and shows strong growth. The company was named 2007 Innovator of the Year by a Northern publication and the company's founder and received a media and Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network “20 Under 40” award and was selected as a 20/20 Business Visionary by Nevada Business Magazine.
  • US Airways is realigning operations and California is no longer considered part of its "core." The airline is closing its John Wayne Airport maintenance station and in early 2010 will redistribute the mechanics across its system.
  • US Press shifted work from Los Angeles and San Diego to Portland, "where union rules were almost rational."
  • USAA Insurance closed its 625-person Sacramento campus in favor of other states.
  • Workforce Management -- a magazine that focuses on human resources issues -- will move from Irvine to Chicago in mid-2010.
  • Yahoo opened a data center in Quincy, Washington, a community that now hopes to land high-tech manufacturing.
The list will grow as Sacramento considers more measures that will increase corporate taxes, increase workers' comp costs, increase regulatory reporting requirements (along with higher fines for even minor infractions), increase regulations (stemming from the ill-advised AB 32 "California Global Warming Solutions Act") increase gasoline and diesel-fuel taxes, increase water rates, increase electric-power rates, and increase assorted fees.

California officials will go to great lengths to avoid admitting companies are leaving for locations elsewhere, although one state economic development official admitted that in 2007 (before the economic meltdown) the state lost "only" 1,000 businesses. The official did not comment on the California Manufacturers and Technology Association study that showed the state lost 25 percent of its total manufacturing employment between 1990 and 2007. For additional perspective, see: "California factory jobs have disappeared."

  • There is a disproportionate number of listings of companies moving to northern Idaho and the Spokane area. This is primarily because the Spokane Spokesman-Review has done a superior job of covering companies moving into the region; hence, the moves are easier to find online.
  • It appears that more companies are leaving Orange County than are leaving Los Angeles, but that's because The Orange County Register more routinely covers business departures while the Los Angeles Times fails to report as thoroughly on the topic. It's virtually certain that Los Angeles -- the epicenter of California's hostility to business -- loses more commercial enterprises than does Orange County.
  • A handful of the moves listed are from the 1990s (when there was a substantial exodus from California) and I've listed them because of one compelling factor or another. For example, it's relevant that an aerospace-related company would leave aerospace-intensive Southern California. My latest research shows that I could add another 80 or so companies, but they would have been from the 1990s and were not major moves so I'll leave them off the list.
© Copyright by Joseph Vranich, 2010. Use is permitted provided attribution is given to "Joseph Vranich, The Business Relocation Coach."