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Why this exec keeps moving companies to Philly

CEO Thomas Charlton sings a familiar tune: If a tech company finds trouble getting the talent it needs in the suburbs, set up shop in Center City instead. Here's why he's pulled this move three times.

Photo by Inkyhack
This is the third time Thomas Charlton has moved a company into Philadelphia.

First there was B2B software company Shunra Software, which moved its main offices from New York to Philly in 2007. In 2010, Charlton became CEO of PHD Virtual, and similarly relocated the company’s headquarters from New Jersey’s Morris County to to 18th and JFK.

Now with his third venture, Goliath Technologies, Charlton pulled a similar move by relocating the company’s HQ to a 6,000-square-foot office at 8 Penn Center.

Why the recurring move?

It has to do with talent, he said.

“Being in the city, you can hire both great people that are in the earlier stage of their careers and execs that are later in their careers,” said Charlton. “When we were in Conshohocken, we couldn’t recruit there. We moved all of those times before for recruiting.”

Goliath was founded in 2011 after the acquisition of a software company called Breakout Software. It’s self-funded and employs “under 100 people,” 30 percent of whom work remotely.

Under the tagline “Be Proactive,” the company makes a software platform that helps IT systems administrators and managers monitor user experience issues associated with desktop virtualization. What does that mean? Clients like American Airlines, for example, use Goliath to catch issues with its cloud-based reservation system before an outage leaves passengers stranded. Other clients include King of Prussia’s Universal Health Services, Xerox and Duane Morris.

“We monitor every step of the process to access applications and constantly test the availability of the app,” said Charlton. “We set alerts and alarms for managers if a connection starts to become slow.”

(Throwback to that time when Charlton used a hammer to crack open a vacationing colleague’s locked credenza to get an urgently-needed file. Then, he told the Inquirer lower costs were also a factor in the decision to move to Philly.)

Charlton, who lives in the suburbs, said the company has plans to grow its presence in the city.

“Our confidence in Philly goes back 12 years,” the exec said. “Back then it was a very tiny tech community. But it’s clear now that you can build a strong and successful company here. It’s a great city that’s centrally located. We’re excited to be here.”

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