Why can't I find my Thomas Brothers?

thomas.jpgSeems as if the publisher of the famous map books has quietly left California, according to Joe Vranich, a relocation consultant who tracks firms moving out of the state. Vranich says that Thomas Brothers closed its Irvine headquarters late last year when the last of its 20 employees were let go (the facility once employed 200). Businesses are required to notify the state of California whenever 50 or more workers are let go within a 30-day period, but as the OC Register's Mary Ann Milbourn points out, "if the layoffs took place in small batches over a period of time, they technically did not have to be reported." Some of the jobs were apparently transferred to Skokie, Ill., where Rand McNally, Thomas Brothers's parent company is based. Others went to Bangalore, India. From Vranich's post:

Just how much of a legacy institution was Thomas Brothers Maps? Well, the company was founded in Oakland in 1915, moved to Los Angeles sometime in the 1940s and relocated to the building at 17731 Cowan in Irvine in 1980, according to the History of Thomas Bros. Maps and the Making of the Thomas Guide. Rand McNally acquired Thomas Bros. Maps in the late 1990s for about $30 million and at the time said it planned to retain its 180 employees and the Irvine HQ.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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