Caterpillar Inc. announced Tuesday it is moving its global headquarters to the Chicago area.
The company previously planned to build a new headquarters complex in downtown Peoria, but those plans have since been canceled.
“Caterpillar’s Board of Directors has been discussing the benefits of a more accessible, strategic location for some time,” said Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby in the announcement. “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.”
A limited group of senior executives and support functions will lead the move to the new leased office space beginning in 2017, the company said.
“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,” Umpleby said. “The new location is also an opportunity to add to our talented team while improving the productivity of our senior leaders.”
The current headquarters building in Peoria will still continue to be used for Caterpillar offices, the company said.
“If Caterpillar succeeds globally, we win in Central Illinois," said 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."
Caterpillar expects about 300 employees in total to be based in the new Chicago-area headquarters, including some positions relocated from Peoria, once the office space is fully operational.