Why We Moved Our HQ: Q&A with ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman

In a development that was widely expected, but not officially disclosed (until now), the cloud-based IT service provider ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) has moved its headquarters to Santa Clara, CA, from San Diego, where the company was founded.

ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman confirmed the move in a recent e-mail exchange with Xconomy.

The move wasn’t exactly a secret. Tom Clancy, chairman of the local industry group Software San Diego, told me he knew that ServiceNow had relocated its headquarters last year. In any event, Slootman agreed to explain his reasons for making the move. His responses to my questions have been lightly edited for readability:

Xconomy: When did you consolidate ServiceNow’s executive offices in Santa Clara?

Frank Slootman: The decision was formalized in Q4 2013.

Xconomy: Why did you move?

FS: The company grew more Northern California-centric as we expanded operations dramatically in the past 3 years. We have had a ferocious appetite for talent and we felt constrained on talent quantity, diversity, and quality in Southern California. My management team and I both had a limited history in San Diego, and we naturally gravitated to our Northern California networks for recruiting and staffing. Most of our directors also now reside in Northern California, so our board meetings had been alternating between the two sites for some time.

ServiceNow logo 300x200That said, the big success story is that the company emerged and broke out from San Diego soil. Fred Luddy, the company founder, is still at ServiceNow [as Chief Product officer], and working from our San Diego operations.

X: How big is the ServiceNow workforce now? Where are your biggest offices?

FS: We now exceed 1,900 in full-time staff. San Diego is our largest site [with 400-plus employees], followed by Santa Clara, CA; Kirkland, WA; London; and Amsterdam.

X: How is the pool of software talent lacking in San Diego?

FS: At ServiceNow, we’ve grown almost 10-fold in the past 3 years. With our hiring standards, we were starting to … Next Page »

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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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