Telecommunications gear manufacturer Tekelec has announced that it is shutting down its Valley operations, moving its 45 remaining Calabasas employees to Morrisville, N.C. The company had been gradually shifting operations to that state in recent years, most recently laying off or relocating 75 Calabasas employees in February of last year. The remaining Calabasas jobs primarily consisted of the Tekelec finance, accounting and IT divisions. While the company had previously moved its manufacturing to benefit from a more favorable business climate, Michael Attar, Tekelec’s vice president of investor relations claimed that the current job shifts had little to do with profit margins. “As the company continues to grow and evolve, it made sense to have the executive, accounting and financial resources out in North Carolina, closer to the business groups that they support,” Attar said. “It’s what we thought needed to be done to be successful. The company had its roots out here but over time it has migrated to North Carolina and Texas. It just became time.” Attar said that the company does not have a set time frame for the move. Employees could remain in Calabasas for up to a year from now. “A number of the employees will be offered the decision to move. We’re still in discussions with them. The company is making sure that they’re being very fair in terms of how they’re treating employees,” Attar said. We want an orderly transition to bring the operations back east. The most important thing is to get it done right, not as quickly as possible.” Dan Blake, the director of California State University Northridge’s Economic Research Center, lamented the company’s move, but admitted that it made sense to consolidate operations under one roof. “Communication is enhanced when things are closer. It makes coordination of activities much easier. Even in today’s world of instant communication around the globe, there’s something about the face-to-face communication that’s really helpful,” Blake said. Blake also speculated that the high price of local real estate might have made the decision to move easier. “If those 45 employees move from their Valley homes they may get a big boost of the value of their house. It could be some realized equity for some homeowners,” Blake said. “Prices are higher here than in North Carolina. It would be an opportunity for people to pull money out of the homes and enjoy the same standard of living or even increase it.” Tekelec has been actively acquiring companies in recent years, doubling its size to 1,500 employees in just the last three years. It currently employs 600 people in Morrisville, with the remaining employees scattered in Texas, Calabasas and internationally. In the most recent quarter ended December 31, 2004, the company claimed earnings of $12.1 million with revenues of $116 million. As of the close of trading on April 20, its stock traded at $14.27 per share, down from a 52-week high of $26.13.