Xerox should stay in Rochester

I was shocked to learn last week that Xerox has moved its headquarters from Rochester, N.Y. to some place called Norwalk, Conn.

Now, I do not know when this move took place because I always put Xerox and Rochester together, and no one from the company ever corrected me on it.

Xerox was founded in Rochester many, many decades ago. I think Xerox is just like IBM or GM. These are iconic companies and they are part of the American fabric of business. These companies are also a stable of the community they reside in. For example, IBM is Armonk, N.Y. GM is Detroit. Microsoft is Redmond, Wash.

I have to say that I’m disappointed that Xerox has made this decision. Moving is a very emotional thing. I have done it with my family twice. Each time it was hard to say goodbye to friends and close neighbours. Xerox was founded in 1906 in Rochester as the Haloid Company. It became Xerox in 1961. That is more than 100 years in one place. Let’s face it; Xerox had established roots in Rochester.

I’d like to know what the people of Rochester think. This town, so close to Canada, has been the home to two iconic companies; the other being Kodak. Kodak is another story for another day.

According to a spokesperson Norwalk is the corporate headquarters. All the executives are based in Norwalk and corporate announcements, such as the recent re-branding news, are issued from there.Rochester is the operations headquarters, which includes the research centre, Xerox square and a customer innovation centre. Product related initiatives tend to be issued from Rochester.

There was a recent USA Today poll that found that Rochester is the fourth highest ranking city in the U.S. where its citizens are leaving. I don’t know if this is one of the reasons for Xerox switching locations, but it is sad to see and hard to believe.

Two quick hits before I go. Joel Martin has left IDC Canada to take a position with Microsoft Canada as product manager for ERP, a space he covered closely as an analyst. Also, Pac-West Telecomm Inc. has announced that Robert “Hal” Turner has been named CEO and a member of its board of directors.

— Posted by Paolo Del Nibletto, 14/01/08, 12:57 PM,

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