Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE: CAT), the world's largest construction and equipment maker, announced on Tuesday that it planned to move its headquarters to Chicago area from Peoria, Illinois by the end of this year.
“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,” Jim Umpleby, the new Chief Executive said. “I think our commitment and our ties to Peoria will still be very, very strong. We'll have more employees in this area than any other place in the world. We intend to continue our deep philanthropic and civil involvement,” he added.
According to the company, around 300 employees will work in the new office, but the location of the office has not been decided yet. Umpleby said that the company planned to lease existing office space in the new location, instead of building a new one. CEO, group presidents, a few vice presidents, and staff from several departments will move to the Chicago office.
The retired CEO, Doug Oberhelman, chairman of the company’s board of directors until the end of March, said that “Caterpillar will stay in Peoria. I repeat, we will stay in Peoria.”
In 2016, Caterpillar reduced 12,300 jobs, in which 7,700 was in the United States. In the future, the company is thinking about closing two major production facilities.