Jun 14, 2022 - Economy

Caterpillar to move corporate headquarters from Illinois to Texas

A construction vehicle hoists dirt on a mountain of soil

Caterpillar is moving its corporate headquarters from Illinois to Texas. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Equipment maker Caterpillar will move its corporate headquarters from Illinois to Texas, marking the second major company in recent months to shift its HQ out of the Land of Lincoln.

Why it matters: Moving headquarters can have substantial tax implications and can affect corporate culture, local real estate and talent attraction and retention.

Driving the news: Caterpillar said Tuesday it will relocate from Deerfield, Illinois, to its existing operation in Irving, Texas.

  • "We believe it's in the best strategic interest of the company to make this move, which supports Caterpillar's strategy for profitable growth as we help our customers build a better, more sustainable world," Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby said in a statement.

Separately, Boeing announced in May that it would relocate its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia, though it will maintain a "significant presence" in the Windy City.

Yes, but: Caterpillar's move affects only 230 people based at the Deerfield headquarters, "and we expect the majority of these roles to transition to the Irving office over time," Caterpillar spokesperson Kate Kenny tells Axios in an email.

  • Some 17,000 workers will stay in Illinois, about 12,000 of them located in the Peoria area.

Our thought bubble: The HQ moves are symbolically significant, casting a spotlight on the business environment in Illinois.

What they're saying: "It’s disappointing to see Caterpillar move their ... headquarters employees out of Deerfield over the next several years when so many companies are coming in," Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker tells Axios in a statement. "My administration will continue to drive job growth throughout the state, making clear to the world why Illinois is the best state in the nation to live, work, play and do business."

  • Caterpillar's Kenny said the business environment in Illinois had no impact on the company's decision: "We believe it’s in the best strategic interest of the company to make this move. The global competitive and market environments we face as a company are always changing."
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