Caterpillar Inc. announced Tuesday the company is moving its global headquarters from North suburban Deerfield to Texas, with the transition starting this year.
The Fortune 500 construction and mining equipment manufacturer’s new headquarters will be in Irving, Texas, company officials said.
“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,” Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby said.
State and local leaders noted the number of employees at the Deerfield headquarters is a fraction of the company’s Illinois workforce. The state has the largest concentration of Caterpillar employees in the world.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement that “it’s disappointing to see Caterpillar move their 240 headquarters employees out of Deerfield over the next several years when so many companies are coming in.
“We will continue to support the 17,400 Illinoisans who work for the company in East Peoria, Mapleton, Mossville, Pontiac and Decatur — which remains Caterpillar’s largest manufacturing plant in North America after the company’s recent expansion,” Pritzker said.
In a statement, Deerfield Mayor Daniel C. Shapiro said the village has enjoyed its relationship with Caterpillar and appreciates what the company has done for the community.
“However, Caterpillar is not unlike other companies that are reassessing their space needs as we come out of the pandemic,” he said.
“Our highly skilled workforce, transportation access and being a desirable place to live — qualities that made Deerfield an appealing corporate headquarters location for Caterpillar in 2017 — remain the same,” Shapiro added.
Caterpillar makes construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.
In April 2017, the company announced it was moving its global headquarters from Peoria to Deerfield and had reached a multiyear lease for space in the Corporate 500 office campus at 510 Lake-Cook Road. Access to O’Hare International Airport, major interstates and Metra were noted as factors in the decision.
“This site gives our employees many options to live in either an urban or suburban environment,” Umpleby said at the time.
“We know we have to compete for the best talent to grow our company, and this location will appeal to our diverse, global team today and in the future,” he added.
The company expected about 300 employees, including top executives, to work at the new headquarters when it became fully operational. Other departments to move were human resources, finance, communications and support staff.
A portion of Deerfield is in Lake County Board member Paul Frank’s district. Frank, who chairs the board’s financial and administrative committee, said the features that attracted Caterpillar still are in play.
“Employers are consistently choosing to locate here because of our highly educated workforce and our beautiful natural spaces,” he said. “Economic conditions are very strong and I’m very positive about the future.”
Kevin Considine, president and CEO of Lake County Partners, the county’s development arm, said despite Caterpillar’s disappointing announcement, the county continues to be a “fantastic” place to do business with unmatched talent and innovation.
“Lake County has a booming economy thanks to 30,000-plus businesses, including 11 other Fortune 500 headquarters, in a variety of growing industries like life science and advanced manufacturing,” he said.
“With a full pipeline of projects and a new 5-year strategic plan, we remain committed to our mission of fueling business growth and developing the strong workforce that companies need to thrive,” he added.
Caterpillar has occupied about 120,000 square feet of the 160,000-square-foot Deerfield office building.
Because Caterpillar leases its space, the departure isn’t the same as Baxter International and Allstate Corp. selling their older and much larger corporate campuses that comprise hundreds of acres, Considine said.
• Daily Herald staff writer Marni Pyke contributed to this report.