Boeing plans to relocate its Virginia headquarters from Chicago

Boeing announced Thursday that it would move its headquarters to Arlington, Virginia from Chicago, where it has been based for more than two decades.

The choice of Arlington, across the Potomac River from Washington, underscores the importance of the federal government and its regulatory bodies to Boeing, which is a major military contractor as well as a major manufacturer of commercial aircraft. The company moved its Defense, Space and Security unit to the Washington area from St Louis in 2017.

“The region makes strategic sense to our global headquarters given its proximity to our customers and stakeholders and its access to world-class engineering and engineering talent,” said Dave Calhoun, CEO of Boeing in a statement. The company, which did not provide a timeline for its move, said it plans to set up a research and technology center in Northern Virginia.

The move follows efforts by Boeing, the leading US exporter, to cut costs. The company sold it a number of unused office parks, warehouses and land last year, including commercial aircraft headquarters in Seattle for $ 100 million.

Boeing has tried to regain its footing after a series of crises. Its best-selling 737 Max passenger plane was halted in 2019 after two of the planes crashed, killing 346 people. it fired Dennis Muilenburg as chief executive that year, saying he had failed to stabilize the company. Boeing later reached a $ 2.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department on the 737 Max debacle.

Last week, the company reported a Loss of $ 1.5 billion for the first quarter after experiencing weak revenues, higher costs and delays.

“While the first quarter of 2022 has brought new challenges to our world, industry and business, I am proud of our team and the continued progress we are making towards our key commitments,” Calhoun said in a financial loss statement.

Boeing moved to a 36-story skyscraper in Chicago in 2001 after the city, Cook County and the State of Illinois pledged $ 60 million in tax breaks and incentives over 20 years.

In its statement on Thursday, Boeing said it will maintain a “significant presence” in Chicago and the surrounding region, adding that the changes resulting from the pandemic have allowed the company to reduce its office needs and instead invest in manufacturing and manufacturing. engineering.