Friday, January 30, 2015

Bay Area Tech Wire -- Jan. 30

BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- Jan. 30, 2015
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Sega of America to Move Out of San Francisco, Downsize Operations
o San Francisco-Based Wells Fargo Launches Life Sciences Unit
San Francisco's Huddle Names Morten Brogger as New CEO
Varentec Names as Guillaume Dufossé as Chairman and CEO
New FCC Rules to Help First Responders Locate Wireless 9-1-1 Callers
o Briefly Noted: Digital Realty Trust, Integrated Device Technology


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o Sega of America to Move Out of San Francisco, Downsize Operations

San Francisco -- Amid plans to downsize the business, Sega of America (SOA), the North American arm of interactive entertainment giant Sega, said on Friday it will move its headquarters from San Francisco to Southern California. "This move was crucial to keep Sega operations moving forward throughout North America," said John Cheng, the president and COO of SOA. "We are confident that by relocating to Southern California we will be able to thrive, grow and become a stronger company because of it." While the company said it will offer relocation packages to a number of employees, an unspecified amount also will be let go as part of a downsizing effort. 

o San Francisco-Based Wells Fargo Launches Life Sciences Unit

San Francisco -- Wells Fargo, the San Francisco-based financial services giant, said it has launched a commercial banking unit in Boston to take advantage of "rapid growth of the life sciences supercluster" in the region. In addition to Massachusetts’ life sciences industry, Wells Fargo said it also will target the region's academic institutions, medical centers, research labs and incubators. The firm has named Katherine Andersen, a 15-year finance veteran of the region, to lead the office. Andersen began her career with GE Capital before joining Merrill Lynch Global Markets and Investment Banking in New York. She moved in 2006 to Boston, where she joined Wells Fargo Capital Finance.

o San Francisco's Huddle Names Morten Brogger as New CEO

San Francisco -- Huddle, the operator of an enterprise cloud collaboration service with dual headquarters in San Francisco and London, on Friday named Morten Brogger as its new CEO. He succeeds co-founder Alastair Mitchell, who will become the company's president and CMO. Brogger, who will be based in San Francisco, previously served as the CEO of MACH, which in 2013 was acquired by Syniverse for $715 million. He then served as chief sales officer of the combined company. The news comes after Huddle raised $51 million in its fourth round of funding late last year. 

o Varentec Names as Guillaume Dufossé as Chairman and CEO

Santa Clara, Calif. -- Varentec, a San Jose-based developer of grid edge control technology for electric utilities, on Friday named Guillaume Dufossé as its chairman and CEO. Dufossé most recently managed the international operations of SunPower, and previously held senior executive positions in Alstom, Areva and Schneider Electric, managing global smartgrid and grid automation business units. The company, which is funded by Khosla Ventures and Bill Gates, said the addition of Dufossé will "significantly accelerate the market expansion" of its grid-edge control platform and technology for U.S. and international electric utilities. 

o New FCC Rules to Help First Responders Locate Wireless 9-1-1 Callers

Washington, DC -- With more people using mobile phones to call 9-1-1 while indoors, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday released a series of new rules designed to provide more accurate location information to first responders. The rules establish timelines for wireless providers to meet indoor location accuracy benchmarks, allowing them to choose from a range of new technologies that will allow them to locate indoor callers by address, floor, apartment or room number. "When the FCC adopted its original wireless 9-1-1 rules in 1996, most wireless usage occurred outdoors," said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. "But times and technology have changed. The vast majority of 911 calls now come from wireless phones, increasingly from indoors." Wheeler said the change has made it far more difficult for first responders to find those seeking help, particularly in multi-story buildings. "We all know how commercial location-based services like Uber can find their users reliably and consistently," said Wheeler. "If we can have an app that gets a car service to the right door, we certainly should be able to get 911 to the right door consistently and reliably." 

o Briefly Noted:

(San Francisco) San Francisco-based Digital Realty Trust, a provider of data center and collocation services, said that CTO Jim Smith and David Schirmacher, senior vice president of operations, will switch responsibilities beginning March 1. Smith will retain the title of CTO and lead the company's Portfolio Operations Group, which includes global property operations, technical operations, customer service, security and data center services functions. Schirmacher will transition to the role of senior vice president of design and construction and will be responsible for overseeing data center development. 

(San Jose, Calif.) San Jose-based Integrated Device Technology (IDT), a developer of mixed-signal semiconductors, has named Ken Kannappan to its board of directors. Kannappan currently serves as the president and CEO of Plantronics. He also will serve on the board's compensation committee and serve as chairman of its nominating and governance committee.

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