Keysight, Medtronic campuses in Santa Rosa spared major damage

Charred cars in the parking lot at Keysight Technologies in the Fountaingrove neighborhood of Santa Rosa, California Monday. October 9, 2017. (Photo: Erik Castro/for The Press Democrat)


Contrary to a Bay Area television news report, the Santa Rosa campus of Keysight Technologies wasn’t destroyed Monday by the fire that ripped through Sonoma County, the company’s chief executive said Tuesday.

The fire did burn two modular buildings closest to Fountain Grove Parkway, CEO Ron Nersesian said.

But the heart of the campus, four massive permanent buildings, appear to have suffered only minimal damage.

Those four buildings and a recycling storage facility constitute nearly a million square feet of office and production space that Keysight plans to reopen, though not before next Monday.

Nersesian, who flew back Monday from Germany, said a Keysight crisis response team visited the campus Tuesday and reported their initial findings to him. While the team will conduct further examinations, he said, “we just thank God that those (permanent) buildings sustained minor damage from what we can see at this point.”

Keysight, a global electronics measurement company and the largest business headquartered in Sonoma County, has told its 1,100 workers they will receive the week off with full pay, Nersesian said. The company will update employees on a reopening date once more information is known.

Keysight also will provide $10,000 to employees who’ve lost homes, he said, and $1,000 for housing assistance to those temporarily displaced by the fire.

Another tech firm, Medtronic, has facilities in both Fountaingrove and on Coffey Lane, another area devastated in Monday’s firestorm. Both office locations were spared major damage.

“At this time, we have some initial, positive observations of our Fountaingrove and Coffey Lane facilities, which were at most risk of being impacted by the fires. We will have additional information on site impacts once we can gain access to facilities,” the company said in a statement.

You can reach Staff Writer Robert Digitale at 707-521-5285.