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Tim Wilson
Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 7, 2015 at 11:46:55 pm

At least that's my working theory.

That, or Avid needs a steadier supply of Entenmann's Crumb Cake. Relatively rare in Boston thanks to the Dunkin Donuts mafia, but not even the nuclear apocalypse will disrupt the supply of Entenmann's to Boca.

Or maybe it's so they'll be closer to Oliver Peters (like Bob, living in Orlando), hoping that he'll be able to PROTECT them from Bob.

In any case, over the next 3 years, Avid will make a $2.6 million capital investment and create 100 new jobs, and will receive a $700,000 tax refund.

The short version of the story is here.

A longer version with a lot of PR puffery (not that there's anything wrong with that) is here.

What strikes me about this one is that it doesn't use simply the word "headquarters," but rather the phrase "administrative headquarters." Is it just a stray adjective? Seems unlikely since this release was clearly scrubbed by a number of PR professionals (not that there's anything wrong with that), but what does it mean?

In any case, I hadn't thought of Palm Beach County, FL as a technology hub of any consequence, not even when I was living in South Florida. Add this to the very long list of things I was either wrong about, or had just never occurred to me.

Although I'll definitely note that when I was working for Avid in Boston, moving back to Florida occurred to me pretty regularly. LOL


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 12:30:34 am

I have a different take entirely Tim. I think this is all about the New England Patriots, Tom Brady, and "deflategate." Who'd wanna hang in a state that supports Superbowl cheaters, when you can get a huge tax incentive, and choose from a wide array of good NFL teams who play by the rules?


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Michael Gissing
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 12:43:21 am

'Administrative' headquarters sounds like satisfying a state based tax break.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 12:46:53 am

[Michael Gissing] "'Administrative' headquarters sounds like satisfying a state based tax break."

In the second article linked, the tax break appears to be tied to the new jobs.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 4:48:37 am

[Tim Wilson] "In any case, I hadn't thought of Palm Beach County, FL as a technology hub of any consequence, not even when I was living in South Florida. Add this to the very long list of things I was either wrong about, or had just never occurred to me."

Obviously this means Avid is doomed and the big wigs are just getting a head start on their retirement plans. ;)

[David Roth Weiss] "wide array of good NFL teams who play by the rules?"

If playing by the rules gets you the Dolphins, Bucs and Jags I can totally understand teams wanting to cheat. ;)


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Shane Ross
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 9:57:02 am

I'm surprised that anyone is moving to Florida on purpose...

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Scott Witthaus
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 11:53:56 am

I guess Louie wanted better winter weather. And the tax credit. Poor Marianna. Now the suits are just across the state! ;-)

Interesting less than a month after this article (which has a LOT of subjectivity in it)

http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/890075-copperfield-research/4122845-avid-...

Scott Witthaus
Senior Editor/Post Production Supervisor
1708 Inc./Editorial
Professor, VCU Brandcenter


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Oliver Peters
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 12:17:16 pm

I'm hearing back office functions - HR, marketing, finance, etc. Note that this puts them in a good central position to service Latin America, Africa, and Europe, too. My guess is that software development stays in MA. But truthfully, all that is pretty spread out among various states and countries. So, very little nuts and bolts gear is manufactured in MA anymore.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 4:45:22 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I'm hearing back office functions - HR, marketing, finance, etc....My guess is that software development stays in MA."

My first reaction to the story was, "But there's no pool of appropriately-skilled software developers in South Florida." It made no sense.

Moving the rest is fine....but still seems a stretch. They'd already moved to New Hampshire for what I always guessed were tax reasons, and they're spending over $2 million to make the move, with "only" a $700.000 tax rebate. How long is it going to take them to earn back another $1.3 million in savings just to cover the cost of the move?

I gotta confess that creating 100 new non-engineering jobs makes no sense to me either.

I'm not sure that many other moves pass my sniff test either.

-- Boston is closer to Europe than Florida. Having flown to Europe from both, I can testify that the difference in travel time and expense weighs against FL.


-- Sales may be moving to Boca as well...but if the argument is "better service to Caribbean and SA," this too makes no sense.

I don't KNOW that this is still the case, but I'd think that Hollywood is still Avid's key market, yes? Hollywood is being held down by a small Avid office plus a world-class VAR (Mike Cavanagh's Key Code in Burbank), plus a wide variety of razor-sharp rental and support companies. Incredibly little expense to Avid.

Latin America should be working the same way, right? Even if Miami were the hub of it (Telemundo and Univision are both based in Miami for example), you don't need the whole non-dev company there for that. South America and the Caribbean really are incredibly accessible, even the western edge of the SA continent. Only 3 hours to Quito Ecuador, which is in the US Central time zone!

But again, this is something for a small sales team to handle. Not the rest of the company in a way that's also adding 100 new jobs.


[Scott Witthaus] "Interesting less than a month after this article (which has a LOT of subjectivity in it)"

Any stock analyst who claims objectivity is a cynical charlatan at best, if not an actual thief preying on the gullible and witless. In any case, absolutely and unequivocally sinister. Certainly someone to be avoided at all costs. The fact that they're not trying to hoodwink anyone on this count is salutatory. Full marks.

I can't comment on the accounting issues, although I find some of the commenters more persuasive. I was struck by "we normally don't pay attention to ex-employee lawsuits, except this time where it's super-important," and was surprised that they didn't even try to justify breaking their own rule. They didn't try to persuade me, and I was indeed unpersuaded.

I CAN comment on their grasp of the industry, which is almost dizzying in its cluelessness. They cite among the pressures on Avid the entry of SONY into the professional editing scene? Sony's Avid-targeted NLE is long gone, and as underrated as Vegas is, how many sales has Sony Vegas been taking from Media Composer?

The author also fails to account for Avid's major sources of revenue in storage and Pro Tools, where (with ALL the respect in the world to those companies) neither Apple or Adobe is drawing major blood, nor has this been part of their model.

And as has ALWAYS been the case, Avid's play was never OVERALL marketshare, but service to its core customers. As Andrew Kimery and others have pointed out, Avid's position on the ground in core Hollywood production may be firmer than ever, certainly firmer than the recent past. We can debate that (hell, we can debate EVERYTHING), but this seems another serious lapse in analysis.

Again noting that I don't have the skills to address the accounting analysis, I think the author underrepresents the role that the SEC and Justice Department had in checking Avid's math before recertification. Not that one should overstate that either, but the author acts like it never happened.

Still, what it lacked in rigor it more than made up for in vigor. LOL I like that. I'll be reading more of their stuff, but until I know that they understand other markets better than ours, I won't be using them to guide my investment. I'm really glad to read it though!


[Scott Witthaus] " Poor Marianna. Now the suits are just across the state! ;-)"

I note your wink, and return it with a smile. :-)

I had first gotten to know Marianna when I was a Media 100 customer, but one of my great pleasures after I became a full-time corporate weasel at Avid was when she joined the company a year after I did.

(I should note that I have no dog in the Avid stock debate. I sold my stock years ago at a huge loss, just because I was tired of thinking about it. LOL No bitterness. I love the people I worked with, including Marianna, and think that they're some of the sharpest in the business....but I wasn't shy about expressing my reservations when I worked there, just as I am now.)

On the customer side, Marianna is obviously a peerless gem. But within Avid, her primary role was supervising release engineering. Customers really don't get to see just how skilled she is at this, and can't imagine how closely involved she is in every part of the technical side of the company: engineering, QA, documentation, manufacturing, support -- she was functionally the COO for anything release-related.

Which means that she'll be going to Boston exactly as often as she has been. It may just be providing more of an escape than it used to. LOL


[Shane Ross] "I'm surprised that anyone is moving to Florida on purpose..."

There's that. More than anything else. smh

That's why I can ONLY assume that it's to be closer to Bob where they can hear his pounding hooves and feel his hot breath on their neck as they duck at the last minute to avoid his baseball bat.

Plus free-flowing access to Entenmann's crumb cake. Anyone who has eaten Entenmann's crumb cake knows that I am not joking about that.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 5:27:11 pm

It was the snow.

As for the Entenmann's, they only had to go to NYC for that.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Tim Wilson
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 5:37:57 pm

[Herb Sevush] "As for the Entenmann's, they only had to go to NYC for that."

My point being that, in practice, there's no functional difference between NY and the portion of Florida from Palm Beach to Miami Beach.

Avid would certainly have been better positioned to serve the Milky Way galaxy and beyond from New York, no doubt about that.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 5:58:28 pm

[Tim Wilson] "My point being that, in practice, there's no functional difference between NY and the portion of Florida from Palm Beach to Miami Beach."

The Pizza is much better in NYC. The beaches are better in Florida. Rats vs bugs - we'll call that a draw. Does that make it a distinction without a difference?

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Shawn Miller
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 6:08:03 pm
Last Edited By Shawn Miller on Jul 8, 2015 at 6:09:06 pm

[Herb Sevush] "
The Pizza is much better in NYC. The beaches are better in Florida. Rats vs bugs - we'll call that a draw. Does that make it a distinction without a difference?"


I think alligators should also figure into the equation... the danger of poolside attack vs misguided sewer exploration.

Shawn



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Oliver Peters
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 6:44:45 pm

[Shawn Miller] "I think alligators should also figure into the equation... the danger of poolside attack vs misguided sewer exploration. "

Actually, south Florida (especially in the Everglades) has a large and growing python problem. Thanks to idiots who consider them to be pets and then release them or let them escape. Alligators are downright welcomed - all things considered. ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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John Fishback
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 6:54:30 pm

And pythons!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 8:00:38 pm

[Herb Sevush] "...a distinction without a difference..."

Now there's a new forum name...

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Oliver Peters
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 6:42:05 pm

[Tim Wilson] "My first reaction to the story was, "But there's no pool of appropriately-skilled software developers in South Florida." It made no sense. "

Well, that's not necessarily true. Remember that both DaVinci and Teranex started down here. There's also a sizable presence in designing and engineering tools for the simulation and training market (corporate and military, not entertainment).

[Tim Wilson] "I don't KNOW that this is still the case, but I'd think that Hollywood is still Avid's key market, yes?"

Compared to broadcast and news? I'm not so sure LA constitutes a large income for Avid. Presence and PR value - yes.

[Tim Wilson] "But again, this is something for a small sales team to handle. Not the rest of the company in a way that's also adding 100 new jobs."

If we are talking about back-office, then the move is about the incentives. There are tons of companies that have done the same thing, so clearly counties are working to bring any type of company in. For example, close to my house, there are a bunch of banking and credit card company call centers tucked away in nondescript office buildings.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Mitch Ives
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 5:16:17 pm

[Shane Ross] "I'm surprised that anyone is moving to Florida on purpose..."

If you're in the PRM (people's republic of Massachusetts), I suppose anything looks good...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Michael Phillips
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 7:02:05 pm

My two views on the move, and could be totally wrong, or just partially wrong... :)

1. An exec wants to live in Boca Raton. Maybe he/she is from there (actually there seem to be women on the avid.com exec page), worked there before, etc.

2. It is a form of RIF without calling it a RIF. A whole division moves to another state. Your job is there now - can you get up and go? No? You no longer have a job. "We didn't let you go, you just couldn't come along!" In in some scenarios (depending on employment contract) if they offered any kind of moving assistance and you can't make the move for whatever reason, they don't have to give you a severance package.

In the end, I think it's a combination of the two in some way. Corporation on the whole (and there are exceptions) are more about the execs than the "below the line" folks. I remember in a previous regime where there were several hundred folks laid off, the CEO got a nice $500K bonus.

So I await the Q2 earnings call to see how this all fits into the company strategy.


Michael


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Tim Wilson
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 8:07:52 pm

[Michael Phillips] "An exec wants to live in Boca Raton. Maybe he/she is from there (actually there seem to be women on the avid.com exec page), worked there before, etc. "

The current biggest tech employer in South Florida is Citrix, and that's exactly why it happened. An high exec had a home in Coral Gables, so let's move the company.

It was odd, and potentially telling, that the Avid quote in the longer press release cited IBM as part of the county's tech heritage. True. Thirty to forty years ago. They're down to 600-ish employees last I checked, down from over 10,000 in the mid-80s.

Not to trivialize the value to Palm Beach and the state of 100 new jobs, but maybe whoever from Avid made that quote wanted to assure Palm Beach readers, "Yes, we're well down from our peak, but don't worry, we can still matter somehow." LOL



[Michael Phillips] " It is a form of RIF without calling it a RIF. A whole division moves to another state. Your job is there now - can you get up and go? No? You no longer have a job. "

That's the only way that 100 new jobs make sense, if you're axing MORE than 100 jobs on the way down.

It also makes more sense thinking about the move as primarily administrative, exec, financial, etc staff. Those skills are ubiquitous and commoditized, like the Visas and Deloittes of the world that Oliver mentions.

I'm still struck by the announced $2 million+ capital investment. There are surely largely vacant office parks with lovely private lagoons that could be customized for a song.

But your point about not wanting to move is very well taken. Quips about Boston sports, politics, and weather notwithstanding, I'm pretty sure I'm the only one on this thread that lived over a decade in each of those areas, and there's not a chance in heaven or hell you could have gotten me to move back to FL from MA. Not a chance. I'd have gladly had my job eliminated and worked at Petsmart before moving back there.

Of course I'm 3000 miles from both of them now, and that suits me just about fine.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Avid to move to Boca Raton to be closer to Bob Zelin
on Jul 8, 2015 at 9:30:24 pm

[Tim Wilson] "The current biggest tech employer in South Florida is Citrix, and that's exactly why it happened. An high exec had a home in Coral Gables, so let's move the company."

Just to clarify, as far as I know, they ended up in South Florida, but they shopped the whole state. There were rumors floating around months ago that Avid was moving this same operation to Orlando. Obviously the folks in South Florida upped the ante.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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