Communications technology company Trilliant Networks is moving its global headquarters from Silicon Valley to Cary, where it plans to create 130 jobs over the next five years.
The privately held company’s short list of possible headquarters sites also included Tampa, Fla., and Nashville, Tenn., but Cary won out, Trilliant CEO Andy White said following the announcement of the move at a Tuesday press conference.
White cited the region’s technology talent, quality of life and cost of living as factors that led to the decision to move to Cary. He called the Triangle “a clean tech center of excellence.”
The legislature’s recent passage of compromise legislation to replace House Bill 2, which prohibited local governments from enacting anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and required people in government facilities to use bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates, also was important to the company.
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“I met with the governor (Gov. Roy Cooper) several months ago and I explained to him this was a concern to some of our employees,” White said of HB2. “I think the progress is great. I think the governor would admit it’s still a work in progress.
“We need to continue to make improvements,” he added, “but I think it’s a step in the right direction that convinced us that we felt comfortable enough to come here.”
Trilliant will pay an average annual wage of $105,348, according to the state Department of Commerce. The company will be hiring engineers, salespeople, software developers and human resource professionals, among others, White said.
White estimated that 20 to 30 of the 130 jobs that Trilliant expects to bring to the area will be existing Trilliant employees who transfer from elsewhere, mostly from California. The rest will be new hires.
Trilliant is eligible to receive up to $1.3 million in state Job Development Investment Grant funds if it meets its hiring target and its commitment of a $1.8 million investment.
Trilliant’s Smart Communications Platform is used by utilities, municipalities and others for secure, high-speed communications with devices such as smart meters.
“Cary is a smart city and it makes sense to have a leader in smart grids that can link smart cities across the country” headquartered here, said Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, Wake County Democrat.
Cooper announced Trilliant’s decision at the site of the company’s new headquarters in the One Harrison Park building on Harrison Oaks Boulevard. Trilliant has leased the third floor of the building, encompassing more than 20,000 square feet.
“North Carolina is a leading destination for companies that thrive with new technologies and new ideas,” Cooper said.
Trilliant has about 250 employees worldwide – including offices in Canada, the United Kingdom and Singapore – and generates annual revenue “north of $100 million,” White said. He said the business is profitable and that he expects revenue to grow 35 to 40 percent this year, on top of growth in excess of 20 percent in 2016.
Tuesday’s announcement triggered a deja vu moment for White.
“I was the guy who moved GE Nuclear Energy to Wilmington in the Gov. Easley era,” said White, who still has a home in Wrightsville Beach. White was president and CEO of GE Nuclear when it moved from San Jose to Wilmington in 2003.