High-tech Giant Nvidia Tells Israeli Managers to Relocate to U.S. Due to Coronavirus Fears

California company plans to move the top managers of Israel’s Mellanox to United States, fearing impact of coronavirus lockdown due to begin on Friday

Refaella Goichman
Refaella Goichman
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Nvidia computer chips.
Nvidia computer chips.Credit: \ Tyrone Siu/ REUTERS

Will the Israeli government’s failure to contain the coronavirus pandemic and the decision to impose a general lockdown from this Friday will cause an exodus, albeit temporary, of the country’s high-tech talent?

If so, the first techies are on their way out: TheMarker has learned that Nvidia, the giant U.S. maker of graphic processors, plans to move the top managers of Israel’s Mellanox, which it acquired earlier this year, to the United States. Nvidia is worried that an end to the coronavirus crisis isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.

Sources said that now that Israel is going into lockdown for at least three weeks, during which movement will be severely restricted, the U.S. company prefers that Mellanox’s senior executives not work from home. Instead, they will be relocated to Nvidia’s Santa Clara, California, headquarters.

Mellanox, a designer of chips used in servers and for storage applications, was acquired by Nvidia last April for $6.9 billion, the largest sale of a high-tech company for that year.

Sources told TheMarker that Mellanox’s headquarters in Yokneam near Haifa, which employs 2,000 people, has been empty of employees for several months now in order to prevent infections among staff that could disrupt its work. Work-at-home policies have been adopted by many of the world’s tech companies, including Facebook and Intel and continued to be practiced locally between Israel’s first and second lockdowns.

Nvidia declined to comment.