Tech firms send workers home after U.S. attacks
Palo Alto, Calif., Bloomberg News
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp. and other computer-related companies are closing offices, boosting security and encouraging employees to work from home after planes hijacked by terrorists destroyed New York's World Trade Center and crashed into the Pentagon.
Sun Microsystems Inc. had a sales office on the 25th and 26th floors of the south tower of the World Trade Center, and doesn't yet know how many workers were in the building during the attack, said spokeswoman Penny Bruce. Software maker TripleHop Technologies Inc. had offices on the 53rd floor of one tower.
The crashes and subsequent explosions caused the collapse
of both 110-storey twin towers, part of an office complex on Manhattan's southern tip through which as many as 200,000 people pass every weekday. The death toll may exceed that of the 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2,400 people. Hijackers seized at least four airliners in the attack.
"It's a shock to everybody," said Advanced Micro Devices Inc. spokesman John Greenagel.
Advanced Micro suspended all travel by employees and
stepped up security at plants and offices in Sunnyvale, Calif., and elsewhere. The second-biggest microprocessor maker has semiconductor plants in Austin, Tex., and Dresden, Germany.
The public relations firm for TripleHop, a developer of customer-service software for Internet-travel sites including Orbitz and Lastminutetravel.com, couldn't be reached to comment.
HP, the second-biggest computer maker, evacuated about 100 workers, including about 80 from its Manhattan offices and 20 from a site in Washington, spokesman Dave Berman said. HP employees in San Francisco and Los Angeles have been encouraged to go home.
Companies such as Santa Clara-based Intel and EMC Corp., which is based near Boston in Hopkinton, Mass., said they have increased security.
Intel, the biggest computer-chip maker, has heightened security procedures at all of its offices and facilities worldwide, said spokesman Chuck Mulloy.
"We will monitor the situation," he said. "We are giving
all U.S. personnel the chance to go home as their personal needs dictate. No one at Intel is travelling."
Intel, which doesn't have a site in New York, does operate
a small office with about a dozen workers in Washington. The office isn't near the Pentagon and everyone is safe, Mr. Mulloy said.
LSI Logic Corp., the largest maker of custom
semiconductors, said security at its plants has been increased.
The plants are still open, but "we are taking prudent procedures," said spokesman Kevin Brett. "We are making sure everyone who enters the buildings has a proper I.D." He declined to discuss additional measures.
LSI, based in Milpitas, Calif., has a large chip-making plant in Gresham, Ore., and plants in Tsukuba, Japan; Wichita, Kan.; and Colorado Springs, Colo.
EMC, the largest maker of corporate computer data-storage systems, has boosted security and established a "crisis center" for customers at the World Trade Center that lost data.
The company also shut offices in Manhattan located near the World Trade Center and in Washington, D.C. No employees were hurt in those locations, said spokesman Mark Fredrickson, who declined to discuss security measures.
BEA Systems Inc., an electronic-commerce software maker, said it closed all major sites, including its San Jose, Calif., headquarters and offices in San Francisco and New Jersey. The closings affected 3,800 employees, who have been encouraged to work from home, said spokeswoman Kathy Maag.
Microsoft Corp., the biggest software maker, closed offices in New York and Washington, said spokesman Rick Miller. Mr. Miller couldn't say how many employees worked in those offices. The company's headquarters near Seattle in Redmond, Wash., are open, although the company has given employees the option of working from home.
"We have told employees if they want to work from home, if they need to get in touch with family or anything, they can do that," Mr. Miller said. He declined to say whether the company has boosted security at its offices.
Gateway Inc., the second-biggest direct seller of personal computers, shut its Gateway Country stores in the Manhattan area and told other employees they could leave work. The company's stores weren't damaged in the attack, said spokeswoman Donna Kather.