San Diego Business Journal

ResMed Considers Leaving the Golden State

Thursday, December 6, 2012

ResMed Inc., one of San Diego’s largest medical device companies, is evaluating whether it should move its headquarters outside of California.

ResMed CEO Peter C. Farrell cited California’s tax increases, strengthening union presence, strict regulations and the Democratic majority in the state Legislature as reasons the company is looking elsewhere. The company posted revenue of more than $1 billion last year.

“We’re trying to evaluate whether or not it’s the best thing for our shareholders — and for our future — to remain headquartered in California,” Farrell said. “California just doesn’t have a business-friendly environment, and my gut says it will get worse. Do we want to sit around on the deck of the Titanic?”

A board-appointed task force is looking at Texas, South Carolina, Singapore and Ireland as potential future hubs for the company. Farrell said the committee will present its findings at ResMed’s next board meeting in February.

The company, founded in 1989 in Australia and headquartered in San Diego since 1990, is a world leader in manufacturing devices that assist patients suffering from sleep apnea. It employs about 400 in California, and 3,700 worldwide. In 2009, ResMed spent about $120 million to build its new, 250,000-square-foot headquarters in San Diego.

“Of course, it would be very disruptive to employees to move everything,” he said. “We’re not going to pull the trigger without properly thinking it through.”

— Meghana Keshavan