HPE HQ to leave Palo Alto birthplace as it 'consolidates' offices

Aruba's new digs in Santa Clara are the right fit for 'smaller, nimbler company'

By Simon Sharwood


HPE's many rounds of redundancies and sell-offs have seen it decide the time is right to downsize its headquarters and move it away from its birthplace in Palo Alto.

The company's version of events is that it has “transformed into a smaller, nimbler company, and now has the opportunity to consolidate its Silicon Valley real estate to better meet the company’s current needs.”

CEO Meg Whitman, in HPE's canned statement about the move, said “Our new building will better reflect who HPE is today and where we are heading in the future.”

What she doesn't say is that HPE had not much to do with making the building so nice: it's actually Aruba's HQ. HPE acquired the networking company in 2015 when construction was already under way. Just two years later and the now-slimmed-down HPE can fit into the offices of a company it once considered prey.

It's not hard to understand why: HPE has a target to move more than 60 per cent of staff to low-wage countries. And the Bay Area most definitely does not meet that description.

Some are happy about the move: San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo is spinning the decision as a win for his less-fashionable tail end of Silicon Valley.

But HPE understands the significance of the move: founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started the company in a Palo Alto garage. Leaving Palo Alto is therefore a big break for the company.

No wonder it's pledged to continue support for the Founder's Office in the city, and that very famous garage.

HPE's old offices will be sold. ®

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