Caterpillar Inc. has announced it will locate its global headquarters and a limited group of senior executives and support functions in the Chicago area later this year and reaffirmed the ongoing importance of its presence in Peoria and central Illinois.
“Caterpillar’s board of directors has been discussing the benefits of a more accessible, strategic location for some time,” says Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby. “Since 2012, about two-thirds of Caterpillar’s sales and revenues have come from outside the United States. Locating our headquarters closer to a global transportation hub, such as Chicago, means we can meet with our global customers, dealers and employees more easily and frequently.
“We value our deep roots in central Illinois, and Peoria will continue to be our hometown. The vast majority of our people will remain in this important region where we have many essential facilities and functions,” adds Umpleby. “The new location is also an opportunity to add to our talented team while improving the productivity of our senior leaders.”
As a result of continuing challenging market conditions and the need to prioritize resources to focus on growth, Caterpillar will not build the previously announced headquarters complex in Peoria. The current headquarters building will continue to be used for Caterpillar offices.
Over the last five years, even while facing these challenging conditions, Caterpillar, along with its employees and retirees, has contributed more than $60 million to support thousands of families, organizations and programs across Central Illinois. The company will continue its philanthropic support and deep civic involvement in the Peoria area.
Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says, “As mayor, I never want jobs moving out of the city. However, the overwhelming majority of Caterpillar employees and their families based in the Peoria area won’t be impacted by this decision. I’m pleased Caterpillar continues to call Peoria its hometown."
“If Caterpillar succeeds globally, we win in Central Illinois," says Peoria County Board Chairman Andrew Rand. "I’m disappointed we can’t keep every job here, but if moving some of its team near Chicago helps Caterpillar thrive, it will benefit Peoria, our county and the surrounding communities."
A limited number of senior executives will move into leased office space beginning in 2017. Once the new location is fully operational, Caterpillar expects about 300 employees to be based there, which includes some positions relocated from the Peoria area.