Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Pardon, oh Citizens of the World who read this, while I go regional for a moment and speak as a Dayton-area resident on news almost certainly irrelevant to you.

The big news here last week was NCR's decision to leave Dayton. Basically, three reasons have been given:The funny thing about the first reason is... NCR doesn't hire people. (Their manufacturing plants may hire, but I'm speaking of their HQ here in Dayton). Since I came to the Dayton area, I've had IT friends in NCR and have tried to keep up with them. The news from them has always been the same: "We just went through another round of downsizing. We keep wondering when our turn will come." For a company in continual contraction, the benefit of a larger pool of people to not hire seems... um, not clear.

That leaves shorter plane flights for those who fly to Europe - seems a strange reason to move 1,300 people - and a large amount of cash. Many people think Ohio should have tried to outbid Georgia, but that would have to come at the expense of companies that don't threaten relocation - and it begins to blur the line between "private company" and "state-funded entity", anyway.

Moving itself, of course, gets rid of those employees who choose not to relocate. I predict that most Ohioans who choose not to move with NCR will not be replaced; the company will use the natural contraction in place of one of its periodic downsizings.

Anyway, it's sad for Dayton, since the company had such a history here, but that's pretty much what NCR has been about here for years - history. For decades now, growth for Dayton - as for most cities - hasn't come from big, stable, traditional companies but from small companies, appearing and disappearing quickly as new opportunities appear and change and dry up. It's a less predictable business world, but that's the century we're in. No amount of sighing will prolong the 20th century


Kay Stephenson said...

Interesting blog post and Dayton Daily News article. As a formerly single NCR professional who spent 22 months in Dayton, I can tell you that even back in the early 90s we called it "Dayton Duty". I always felt Dayton was a great place to raise kids, but a poor place to be single. Had I not known it was temporary and necessary for career advancement, I never would have moved there at all. Where do I live now? Well Atlanta, of course :-)

Anonymous said...

Would there be any correlation between this relocation and the appointment of a new CEO? I think it was Philip Greenspun who alerted me to this interesting trend where within a year or two of a new CEO starting the firm's HQ for all sorts of interesting reasons ends up moving to the city where he previously worked.