Tag Archives: Head office relocation

Vroom relocates head office from Manhattan to Houston

Vroom, the online car retailer has moved its head office from Manhattan to the Westchase area of Houston as it attempts to cut costs to maintain its long-term viability.

The company had been burning through cash as it chased triple digit annual revenue growth. It is currently losing about $7,000 on every car sold. The company now has a new CEO and CFO that are working on a plan to realign the business.



The company went public via a $468 million IPO in June 2020 that priced its shares at $22 and gave the company a market cap of $2.8 billion. The shares peaked at $74 a few months later. They now trade at $1.35.

In 2021, the company had revenues of $3.2 billion and had an adjusted EBITDA loss of $340 million. It sold 75,000 vehicles through the Vroom platform.

The Houston angle is the result of the company buying Texas Direct Auto (TDA) in Stafford in 2015. TDA remains its only physical dealership. At the time, TDA was the largest independent dealership in the USA and a pioneer on selling cars online. TDA sold 7,212 used cars in 2021 and had revenues of $230 million.

The new CEO is Tom Shortt. He became CEO in May, though he joined the company in January as COO. Prior to joining Vroom, he was a Senior VP at Walmart, where he developed an ecommerce supply chain strategy. Before that, he worked at Home Depot, Acco Brands and Fisher Scientific.

CFO Bob Krakowiak joined the company in September 2021 and is based out of Detroit. Previously he worked at Stoneridge Corporation and Visteon, both automotive electronics suppliers.

Key aspects of the realignment plan are;

  • Increasing gross profit per unit by better data analytics. The company acquired CarStory, an analytics company, for $117 million in January 2021
  • Building a captive finance offering. It acquired UACC, an auto finance company, for $316 million in February 2022
  • Better logistics. No more shipping cars from Oregon to Florida for a flat fee!
  • A more efficient title and registration process. Vroom and Carvana have very high consumer complaints in this area.

The company has recently reduced its headcount by 270 or 14%.

The good news is that the company is expected to have about $500 million of liquidity by the end of 2022 and there is only $625 million of long-term debt which is due in 2026 (other than the securitized debt associated with UACC).

The bad news is that selling vehicles is a very competitive business and $7,000 is lot to make up!

Vroom – Investor Relations presentation

HPE to relocate head office to Houston area

Photo: Patrinely Group and CDC Houston

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced it is moving its head office from San Jose to the Houston-area, though it is not clear how many jobs will relocate. HPE has revenues of $27 billion and a market capitalization of $14.4 billion. It provides servers and networking solutions aimed at large enterprises.



HPE was spun off from HP in 2015, with HP concentrating on consumer products. The largest concentration of HPE employees in the US was already in Houston. That was a result of its 2002 takeover of Compaq, founded in 1982 in Houston.

HPE’s current CEO Antonio Neri was based out of Houston for 11 years, prior to his relocation to California in 2015.

HPE will be moving into a newly-built campus in Springwoods Village, due to be completed in 2022. The HPE campus will consist of two five-story buildings totaling 440,000 sq. feet.  Construction started pre-pandemic so it’s not clear how much of space they will really need. Springwoods Village is also home to ExxonMobil’s 3 million sq. ft campus and HP’s 378,000 sq. ft campus.

Both HPE and HP previously occupied the former Compaq campus in NW Houston but decided to move after that campus was badly flooded in both 2016 and 2017 (Hurricane Harvey).

SEC filing – HPE relocation

Restaurant chain moves corporate office to Houston area

Muscle Maker has moved its corporate office from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to League City. The company has a market capitalization of $18 million and went public in February 2020. It was founded in New Jersey in 1995 and had its head office in the League City area until 2018.



The company owns and operates Muscle Maker Grill and Healthy Joe restaurants. Muscle Maker concentrates on fresh, made-to-order protein-based meals while Healthy Joe’s has a wider menu selection. As of 30 June, it operated 31 restaurants, located in 15 states and Kuwait. 20 of them are franchise restaurants.

Because of the pandemic, the company is moving to a delivery-only ‘ghost kitchen’  concept. The company intends to expand into non-traditional locations such as universities, military bases and office buildings.

The CEO is Mike Roper. He became the CEO in May 2018. Before that, he was the CEO of Taco Bueno, a Tex-Mex restaurant chain with its head office in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Ferdinand Groenewald serves as the CFO. He joined the company in October 2017 and became the CFO in September 2019.

I’ve added Muscle Maker to the list of Houston Public Companies, along with Murphy Oil, an E&P company with a market cap of $1.3 billion. The company formally moved its head office from Arkansas to west Houston earlier this summer.

SEC filing – Muscle Maker