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Wednesday, 21 March, 2001, 19:52 GMT
Boeing to move out of Seattle
Boeing world corporate headquarters, Seattle
Boeing's world corporate headquarters in Seattle
Aerospace giant Boeing is to move its corporate headquarters out of Seattle, its home since it was founded 85 years ago.


The role of the new, leaner corporate centre will be to seek new growth opportunities around the globe

Phil Condit, Boeing chairman
The company said it is looking at Chicago, Denver, and Fort Worth, Dallas, as possible locations for its new corporate centre, and says it will make a final decision by early summer.

Boeing employs 78,400 people in the Seattle area and is the state's largest private employer.

The company's massive commercial jet manufacturing plants will remain in the Seattle area, as will much of its research and development.

'Shareholder value'

The new headquarters will employ about half the 1,000 employees currently working in the Seattle offices, the company said.

Boeing said it plans to have an operational centre in the new headquarters by the Autumn.

Worldwide, it has 198,900 workers, with major operations in St. Louis and Southern California.

Chairman and chief executive Phil Condit said the move was part of a drive to create "value for our shareholders."

"Simply put, we intend to run Boeing as a business that has the flexibility to move capital and talent to the opportunities that maximize shareholder value," he said.

Mr Condit said the decision had been made before the recent West Coast energy crisis - and before the 28 February earthquake which rattled the Northwest of America and damaged Boeing's runways.

The decision to move the headquarters was prompted by the need "to be in a location central to our operating units, customers and the financial community - but separate from our existing operations," Mr Condit said.

"This is a fundamental strategic decision," Mr Condit said.

"The role of the new, leaner corporate centre will be to seek new growth opportunities around the globe."

The company was founded in Seattle in 1916 by William Boeing and Clyde Esterveld, to run an airmail service between Seattle and Canada.

Boeing's dominance of the large passenger jet market has recently come under pressure from European rival Airbus, which last year announced plans to build the first 'super jumbo'.

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