The state's second-largest telephone company, General Telephone Co. of California, has tiptoed out of its landmark headquarters building at the foot of Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica and has all but settled into its new base of operations in Thousand Oaks.
The new headquarters, which roughly resembles a boomerang embedded in a hillside, has become something of a landmark of its own during the three years since Prudential Insurance Co. built it for its own use, then promptly moved out in a corporate reorganization move. Reposing on an 85-acre site just off the Ventura Freeway, the three-story structure is almost a horizontal version of the 21-story tower General Telephone expects to sell by early next year.
"Already it has lived up to its promise," spokesman Tom Leweck said of the new headquarters. In its 425,000 square feet are housed 1,665 of the 2,500 headquarters and support personnel ultimately destined to work in the atrium-lit premises. They formerly worked in 14 buildings scattered around the West Side, Leweck noted.
"It's a lot easier to communicate," he said. "People who used to be 20 blocks away are now 20 seconds away. And that's only a little exaggeration."