Red Hat Preparing for the Ultimate Road Trip?
Is Red Hat looking for a change of scenery? Perhaps. Multiple published reports suggest Red Hat may relocate its headquarters from Raleigh, N.C, to Boston, Mass. No, wait. Red Hat is moving to Atlanta, Ga. Hold on a second… Red Hat is going to Austin, Texas. What’s the truth? Here’s a best guess, and the potential implications for Red Hat’s partners and customers.
First, the facts: It sounds like Red Hat officials certainly have been taking a look at Atlanta (Ga.), Austin (Texas) and Boston (Mass.) amid relocation rumors at the Linux, middleware and virtualization specialist. Red Hat has roughly 3,400 employees worldwide, with roughly 600 located in Raleigh, according to Statesman.com.
Will Red Hat pack up its tents and head for a new headquarters? The VAR Guy doubts it. By “scouting” alternative locations, Red Hat can potentially gain local leverage as it continues more expansion in Raleigh. In fact, Red Hat and the city of Raleigh are expected to discuss the situation within the next 30 days, according to the Statesman.
So, some pros and cons involving each location:
1. Staying Put in Raleigh, N.C.
- Pros: Red Hat can focus on its partners and customers, rather than real-estate relocations. The local economy pumps out tech-savvy college graduates. And Red Hat can also tap executive talent from such local companies as SAS Institute, Cisco Systems and Lenovo.
- Cons: There are few direct flights from North Carolina to the West Coast — a painful limitation as Red Hat executives seek to meet with customers and partners worldwide.
2. Moving to Boston, Mass.
- Pros: A rich local high-tech heritage, plenty of local colleges and universities from which to recruit talent, and the opportunity to potentially recruit talent away from the Novell SUSE Linux business in Massachusetts.
- Cons: Higher cost of living than Raleigh. Surprisingly, Boston also has fewer and fewer direct flights to the West Coast.
3. Moving to Atlanta, Ga.
- Pros: A hub for major service providers and colleges that run Red Hat’s software.
- Cons: A recent study suggests Atlanta does a poor job retaining high-tech startups.
4. Moving to Austin, Texas
- Pros: Red Hat could potentially work even more closely with Austin giants like Dell and AMD, and San Antonio service provider Rackspace. There’s no shortage of local IT talent and potential IT partners.
- Cons: The locals are more than happy to offer up their own list of cons.
Admittedly, The VAR Guy hasn’t spoken directly with any Red Hat employees that are researching the potential headquarters move. But The VAR Guy’s gut suggests Red Hat will stay put after meeting with Raleigh, N.C., city officials within the next 30 days.