Following the announcement of a new HighWire office in Belfast, Northern Ireland, top management is working on a cultural transition plan for the Silicon Valley based company.
“It’s aboot time we all started speaking some Irish!” announced Dan Filby, HighWire’s CEO, to an all-staff meeting in Palo Alto. Born and raised in Canada, Filby still speaks with vestiges of native diphthongs and open-vowels. Grilled about whether the company was simply shifting to Northern Ireland for tax reasons, Filby responded, “If I wanted higher taxes, I would have moved us to Canada, eh.”
Hoping to set an example for employees, John Sack, HighWire’s Founding Director, has given up his South Beach Diet for porridge, boiled potatoes, and corned beef hash. The staff lounge now serves Guinness on tap.
Vice President of North American Sales, Wendy Newsham, is not worried about cultural, gastronomic, or climate divisions between Silicon Valley and Northern Ireland. “I live in Boston,” adding, “I have an Irish Red and White Setter, a lop-eared rabbit and two teenagers.”
Bonnie Zavon, Public Relations Director for HighWire, has been hoping to ease the transition for those employees raised in sunny southern California. Van Morrison now plays softly over the corporate sound system and every employee has been given a DVD set of Liam Neeson films. Zavon will even do impersonations:
If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.