E-Trade Financial Corp. is moving its headquarters from Silicon Valley to New York next year in the company's latest step to distance itself from its roots as a dot-com rebel.
The Jan. 1 address change, announced Wednesday, is seen as largely symbolic.
The company, best known for its Internet stock brokerage, expects only three or four of the 360 employees at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters to transfer to New York; the remainder of the Menlo Park workers are expected to remain in the same office, focusing on technology jobs, E-Trade spokeswoman Connie Dotson said.
But some of those technology jobs may be exported overseas. E-Trade acknowledged Wednesday that it might join other U.S. employers that are trying to boost profits by sending some technology work to the less expensive labor pool available in other countries.
A decision on whether that move makes sense and how many jobs might be affected probably will be reached early next year, Dotson said. About 90% of E-Trade's 4,000 employees worldwide are based in the United States.
The move to New York reflects E-Trade's desire to be taken more seriously as a diversified financial services company. Besides its stock brokerage, E-Trade owns a growing online bank with $11.3 billion in customer deposits and has been trying to become a bigger player in the mortgage and mutual fund industries.
E-Trade has made its home in Silicon Valley since entrepreneur Bill Porter launched the company, originally called Trade Plus, in 1982. But most of E-Trade's top decision makers have been working on the East Coast since Christos Cotsakos, its leader during the company's dot-com heyday, stepped down as chief executive in January.
Mitchell Caplan, E-Trade's CEO, and Arlen Gelbard, who runs E-Trade's bank, will remain in Arlington, Va.
The company's shares gained 33 cents to $11.43 on the New York Stock Exchange.