CALIFORNIA COMPETITIVENESS:
Bechtel, Beef Jerky Company and Al Jazeera Announce Plans to Leave California

Bechtel, the large engineering and construction firm, announced June 7 that it is moving its headquarters from San Francisco to Reston, Virginia.

Approximately 150 employees currently based in San Francisco and Houston will be reassigned to the Virginia headquarters by the end of the year, and dozens of California positions will be eliminated, the company said. The Virginia location has served since 2011 as Bechtel’s “operational headquarters.”

“Consolidating the corporate leadership and operations in Reston will enable the company to thrive in the current fast-paced business environment – one that demands faster and seamless decision-making, integration and collaboration,” Chief Operating Officer Jack Futcher said.

The company will maintain a scaled-down office in San Francisco, where the company has been based for more than 100 years.

In related news:

Beef Jerky Company Craves a Different State. Krave Jerky, a premium beef jerky company that has been based in Sonoma since its founding in 2009, is moving to Austin, Texas, sometime this year, the company’s owner announced.

Founder Jon Sebastiani sold his company to Hershey in 2015. Hershey said it will move Krave to Austin as part of a consolidation with another snack food brand it purchased recently.

“I understand the economic synergies that justify that decision,” Sebastiani said.

A Hershey executive who oversees the Krave unit said many of the current employees will follow the company to Texas, a state that does not impose income tax. (Source: Sonoma Index-Tribune, May 25.)

Al Jazeera Shutting San Francisco Office, Moving to Washington. Al Jazeera International announced that it is shutting its San Francisco office – home to its social media division, AJ+ – and moving to Washington. The move, expected to be complete by the end of September, will affect all 68 employees who work at the site.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that layoffs are expected to begin August 5, and it is not known how many employees will move with the company.

AJ+ is an online publication that reaches viewers through YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“The office at King Street was the former headquarters of Current, a cable channel backed by former Vice President Al Gore and legal services entrepreneur Joel Hyatt. Gore and Hyatt sold the channel to Al Jazeera in 2013,” the Chronicle wrote. “Current was notable for its 2008 partnership with Twitter, which had the channel display tweets alongside broadcasts of that year’s presidential and vice presidential debates, one of the first major intersections of social media and politics. The channel also aired ‘The Gavin Newsom Show,’ a talk show hosted by the lieutenant governor of California.”

Al Jazeera has more than 70 bureaus around the world. (Source: San Francisco Chronicle, June 6.)

 

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