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Headquarters away from Chicago: Boeing moves even further away from Seattle

21 years ago, the aircraft manufacturer moved its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago. He’s relocating headquarters now, but not in the Northwest.

Just before the turn of the millennium, Boeing management thought about the future strategy. And it quickly became clear that the company headquarters could not remain in Seattle. They were looking for a neutral position that was not directly linked to one of the main units of the group.

In 1915 William Edward Boeing began building an airplane in Seattle. The B&W Seaplane was born, later also called Boeing Model 1. It was the beginning of its rise to become America’s largest exporter and one of the largest aircraft manufacturers, space technology suppliers and defense manufacturers in the world.

Dallas / Fort Worth? Denver? Chicago!

To date, most of Boeing’s commercial planes are built in Seattle. And that’s where the group had its headquarters until 2001. But as a result of the discussions on the strategy, it decided to move in at that time. Southern California, Wichita, Philadelphia, and St. Louis were out of the question as all cities had well-known manufacturing facilities.

At the same time, management wanted to look for a place that was easy to reach and that minimized travel times within the group. Ultimately, Chicago, Dallas / Fort Worth and Denver were the choices. The leadership chose the city on Lake Michigan. The entire central administration then moved to a skyscraper directly on the Chicago River.

Many advantages in Arlington

But now it’s time to move again. Boeing has decided to leave Chicago again. Global headquarters moves to Arlington, Virginia. The region makes strategic sense “because it is close to our customers and our stakeholders and offers access to first-class engineers and technical talent,” comments CEO Dave Calhoun.







The new Boeing headquarters in Arlington: a stone’s throw from Washington DC. Image: Boeing

Arlington is just across from Washington DC. Contacts with politics will be even easier, at the same time New York is also not far away, where the financial sector is based. Boeing can thus cover two important stakeholder groups with the elections. There are also good universities in the area with Georgetown University, George Washington University, and the University of Maryland.

Also new research center

At the same time, Boeing is building a research and technology center in Arlington. It will focus on developing innovations in cybersecurity, autonomous operations, quantum science, and software and systems engineering.

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