SAIC Leans Eastward, CEOs on Culture In a Word, SDG&E Leads Smart Grid Coalition, & Other San Diego BizTech News

9/21/09Follow @bvbigelow

Former BAE Systems executive Walt Havenstein takes over today as SAIC’s new CEO, but the big question is if the new boss will move the company’s headquarters from San Diego to McLean, VA. Get our roundup of San Diego’s biztech news here.

—San Diego defense contractor SAIC (NYSE: SAI), which has been shifting some key executives and corporate functions to Northern Virginia since 2006, appears poised to announce the relocation of its headquarters from San Diego to McLean, VA. If SAIC moves its HQ, San Diego’s roster of Fortune 500 companies would go from four to three. It only increased to four in August when CareFusion (NYSE: CFN), the Cardinal Health spinoff, established its HQ here. The other two are Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).

—How unique is your company’s culture? Xconomy asked the CEOs of startups in Seattle, Boston, and San Diego to use one word to describe their company’s corporate culture. We got 21 different answers. San Diego’s CEOs said Innovative, Love, Open, Entrepreneurial, and Speechless. Actually, “speechless” is my word. VMIX CEO Mike Glickenhaus was the only one who said, “I wish I could come up with one but I can’t.”

—At a time when rapid changes in technology are bringing Internet TV closer to reality, DivX CEO Kevin Hell says he is positioning the San Diego-based digital media company to be the friendly and agnostic technology provider. Hell says he wants the DivX format to be the “any-to-any-solution” that plays video content on any device from any manufacturer.

—Corporate buyout executives from Qualcomm and Google voiced cautious optimism about the economic climate for M&A deals involving venture-backed companies during a panel discussion organized last week by the San Diego Venture Group. Qualcomm’s Duane Nelles and Google’s Karim Faris also said it’s becoming more important for startups to secure an early corporate partner with a vested interest in developing the technology.

—San Diego Gas & Electric is leading a coalition of 28 companies, academic institutions, and other organizations to integrate emerging “smart grid” technologies in the regional power grid—and are bidding for $100 million in matching federal stimulus funds to help pay for it.

—Connect, the San Diego non-profit group that promotes technology and entrepreneurship, issued its second-quarter report on San Diego’s innovation economy. The study found 102 new technology companies were created during the three months that ended on June 30. That’s more than the 66 startups during the first three months of the year and better than the 76 companies launched during the same quarter in 2008.

—In its fifth edition of the “Venture Impact” report, the National Venture Capital Association found that venture-backed companies employed more than 12.1 million Americans in 2008. These companies generated $2.9 trillion in revenue in 2008, roughly one-fifth of U.S. gross domestic product. San Diego attracted $1.2 billion in venture investment across biotechnology, software, and information technology, among other areas, according to the NVCA report.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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