Western Digital relocates HQ, sheds jobs

Orange County loses disk and flash fabber’s HQ as jobs go in transformation opportunity

Western Digital Corp is moving its HQ from Irvine, Orange County in southern California to San Jose in the north of the state, with job losses in both areas.

The Orange County Register (no relation), said that according to the Orange Council Business Council, there were 1,400 WD employees in Irvine and another 200 in Santa Ana.

A WD statement said: “The company’s Irvine operations will continue to be an important part of our ongoing business, and Western Digital remains one of the largest technology companies and community leaders in Orange County. …We are excited about the continued transformation opportunities for our people, our worksite, and Western Digital in Irvine. The change in headquarters location is expected to have no impact to our customers and day-to-day business operations.”

According to the OC Register, the enterprise SSD team will move from Santa Ana to Irvine, along with other client device teams, and “Irvine will remain the main location for business management, engineering and functional support teams.”

According to state filings (PDF) WD would lay off 51 people in its Irvine facility, which employs 1,400 staff, and 131 in San Jose, 81 from the acquired SanDisk office, with both layoffs happening on June 2.

In this restructuring action another 120 or so positions would go elsewhere in WDC’s worldwide operations.

We don’t know if this is what WDC means by a transformation opportunity, but suspect it’s not.

According to state filings, the firm has ended 1,360 jobs in its Irvine, Santa Ana, Milpitas, Mountain View, Fremont and San Jose facilities. As of July 1, 2016, it had 72,878 employees.

We've asked WDC for comment and will update if we hear back.

The company is currently trying to buy some or all of Toshiba’s share in their flash foundry joint venture, which is part of the memory business that Toshiba needs to sell in order to rescue itself from potential financial collapse. ®


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