Datacom-Textron spins its Everett office to California

  • KATHY DAY / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, October 25, 2000 9:00pm
  • Local News


Herald Writer

EVERETT — Datacom-Textron will merge with a Southern California subsidiary of its parent company, officials said Wednesday. But the move doesn’t mean that all the employees are leaving.

Although Datacom will no longer exist as an Everett company, a portion of its employees plan to spin out a new local company that will continue to produce a line of network testing equipment called Legacy, said Dennis Horwitz, a spokesman for Rifocs Corp, which makes similar equipment for fiber-optic testing. Rifocs is based in Camarillo, Calif., northwest of Los Angeles.

Details about the new company were not available Wednesday.

The merger, announced Wednesday by executives of parent company Textron, will combine Datacom’s work in the area of test equipment for copper-cable local area networks with the operations of Rifocs, Horwitz said. Datacom, which has been working with Rifocs on product development for some time, had about 60 employees when merger negotiations began. However, he said, because "we have been unable to get people to move to this area," only about 10 to 15 employees will join Rifocs. Of those, only about five will actually relocate, he added, because some regional sales people are located around the country. But he would not say how many people will lose jobs because of the changes.

He said Datacom was not big enough to sustain the Everett location and had been slow in producing new products, so the decision was made to combine the two subsidiaries.

Datacom, founded in 1981 as Datacom Northwest, changed its name to Datacom Technologies in 1988 as it expanded into low-cost, hand-held equipment used to test network cabling. Textron acquired the company in 1998. At that time, a survey by the Snohomish County Economic Development survey showed the company had 75 to 100 employees

Rhode Island-based Textron is a global company with four divisions — aircraft, automotive, finance and industrial, which includes Datacom and Rifocs. After acquiring Rifocs in December, the company "determined it made sense that to combine forces" of the two subsidiaries to advance new product development, Horwitz said.

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