Tech Gi­ant CSC Mov­ing Its Base to Falls Church

Trans­fer of Em­ploy­ees Part of Im­age Re­vi­sion

The Washington Post - - Business - By Zachary A. Gold­farb

Global tech­nol­ogy and con­sult­ing firm Com­puter Sci­ences Corp. is re­lo­cat­ing its head­quar­ters to Falls Church from El Se­gundo, Calif., mak­ing it one of the largest com­pa­nies based in the Wash­ing­ton area.

The move, which may bring as many as a cou­ple of hun­dred em­ploy­ees to the area, caps a con­sol­i­da­tion of CSC man­age­ment in the re­gion. The com­pany al­ready has 11,000 work­ers in the area, and chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael W. Laphen has long lived here.

CSC has 90,000 em­ploy­ees world­wide and an ag­gres­sive out­sourc­ing busi­ness with clients as var­ied as NASA, Sun Mi­crosys­tems and an In­dian fi­nan­cial group. The com­pany’s large foot­print in the area is a re­flec­tion of the work it does for the gov­ern­ment, which ac­counted for $6 bil­lion of the com­pany’s $15.5 bil­lion in sales last year.

Com­pany of­fi­cials por­trayed the re­lo­ca­tion as part of a broader change in strat­egy. CSC has ex­pe­ri­enced lit­tle over­all growth in re­cent years as the mar­ket for the very large, com­plex tech­nol­ogy projects in which it spe­cial­ized has slowed and the com­pany has faced in­creased com­pe­ti­tion from abroad.

Now the com­pany is work­ing to re­brand it-

self as a more nim­ble con­sul­tancy that can work with smaller projects. It said the move to Wash­ing­ton is an im­por­tant lo­gis­ti­cal step, merg­ing its ex­ec­u­tive head­quar­ters with its op­er­a­tional one.

“Any num­ber of ex­ec­u­tives who hap­pen to be in the build­ing can meet with cus­tomers for short im­promptu ses­sions,” said David Booth, pres­i­dent of global sales and mar­ket­ing. “It cer­tainly speeds the en­gage­ment of the ex­ec­u­tive team.”

Booth also praised the re­gion’s ameni­ties.

“It’s got a great skilled work­force. The ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem is ab­so­lutely out­stand­ing, and the prox­im­ity to travel is out­stand­ing,” he said.

But, he said, “in any en­vi­ron­ment there may be a trade-off, and it seems like traf­fic might be one.”

Last month CSC filed an earn­ings re­port that cor­rected in­come tax cal­cu­la­tions and the im­pact of for­eign ex­change rates on the com­pany’s fi­nan­cials. In 2006, CSC said it would con­sider a sale of the com­pany, and it cut 5,000 jobs, mostly in Europe. CSC’s stock price has never re­cov­ered the highs reached dur­ing the In­ter­net bub­ble. Its shares have been rel­a­tively flat for sev­eral years.

The tran­si­tion of roughly 200 peo­ple based in the Los An­ge­les area, where the com­pany was founded in 1959, should be com­plete by this sum­mer. Those em­ploy­ees will move to the Falls Church of­fices; some will re­main in El Se­gundo.

The move re­in­forces the area’s im­age as a ma­jor hub of knowl­edge work­ers. CSC joins a group of the coun­try’s largest tech­nol­ogy con­sult­ing firms that are based in the re­gion or main­tain a siz­able pres­ence here, in­clud­ing Booz Allen Hamil­ton and Science Ap­pli­ca­tions In­ter­na­tional Corp., both in McLean.

Those firms fo­cus mainly on gov­ern­ment work, while CSC has a more ex­ten­sive com­mer­cial back­ground.

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