Hanger Orthopedic wrapping up HQ move to Austin, planning 30 more corporate hires

Hanger Orthopedic Group Inc. is scheduled to complete the move of its corporate headquarters to Austin from Bethesda, Md., on Aug. 16, with plans to add 30 another employees here before the end of this year.

By late August, about 115 people will be working at Hanger’s headquarters in Austin, says Jennifer Bittner, the company’s director of public relations. Hanger still wants to fill another 30 positions here, which would bring its headquarters workforce to 145 by the close of 2010. Of those 145, about 100 will be new hires, Bittner says.

In March, Hanger set up temporary corporate offices in Austin. The company initially will occupy about 37,000 square feet at the second phase of The Domain in North Austin.

Tom Kirk (photo), president and CEO of Hanger, says: “We look forward to becoming part of the technical and biomedical communities in Texas.”

Publicly held Hanger (NYSE: HGR) provides orthotic and prosthetic products and services.

Bittner says Hanger is seeking to fill headquarters jobs in IT, finance and human resources—ranging from management to administrative positions. In IT, the company is looking for software engineers, systems engineers, quality assurance specialists and project managers, among other positions.

For a list of open positions at Hanger, click here. If you have questions about career opportunities at Hanger, contact Sandra Padgett at sapadgett@hanger.com.

About 30 percent of the company’s corporate employees in Bethesda are relocating to Austin, according to Bittner. All members of the senior management team from Bethesda are moving here, except the former chief information officer and former vice president of HR.

Drew Morton of Austin joined Hanger as vice president of HR in June. Most recently, he held the same post at Austin-based Freescale Semiconductor Inc. In April, Walt Meffert joined Hanger as vice president and CIO. He is relocating from Maryland to Austin.

To entice Hanger to move here, the City of Austin approved $500,000 in incentives over 10 years. The Texas Enterprise Fund chipped in a grant of $1.5 million.

Under the city’s incentive deal, Hanger agreed to have at least 133 new full-time jobs in Austin by the end of 2010 and a total of 250 new full-time jobs in Austin by the end of 2019. Bittner says it’s too early to speculate when Hanger will reach the 250-employee mark.

According to the incentive agreement, Hanger’s average headquarters salary will be $97,343.

The agreement with the City of Austin includes a promise to retain 19 existing jobs at Austin-based Innovative Neurotronics Inc., Hanger’s development and commercialization subsidiary. Innovative Neurotronics’ best-known product is the WalkAide (bottom photo), a medical device that uses “functional electrical stimulation” to improve the walking ability of sufferers of a lower-leg paralysis known as “foot drop.”

By the end of 2014, Hanger expects to have made a capital investment of more than $7 million in Austin. The company says the move will save it between $2.5 million and $3.5 million in annual expenses.

Hanger has estimated it will incur $15 million to $18 million in costs associated with the headquarters relocation.

Hanger executives say the Austin headquarters will provide ample space for growth, improved operational efficiencies and a better quality of life for corporate employees. Also, Austin’s central U.S. location will aid communication with Hanger’s more than 700 patient care centers across the country as well as other company sites.

Hanger is projecting revenue of $815 million to $825 million for fiscal 2010, an increase of as much as 8.5 percent from 2009.

To watch a video about career opportunities at Hanger, click here.

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