ADM Looking To Move Longtime Headquarters
By Sean Powers, with additional reporting from The Associated Press
Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Company says that after 44 years in Decatur, it is looking for a new location for its headquarters.
ADM CEO Patricia Woertz said in a news release Monday that the company needs what she called a global center with better access to customers and other employees around the world.
“Our company is growing and becoming more global and more customer-centric,” Woertz said. “To continue to succeed, we need a global center in a location that allows us to travel and work efficiently with customers and employees throughout the world. We also need an environment where we can attract and retain employees with diverse skills, and where family members can find ample career opportunities.
”The company will not discuss details about where it might relocate, but a spokesperson said the move may happen next year.
"As you can imagine, this takes some time," said ADM spokesman David Weintraub. "It's probably going to be sometime in 2014."
ADM said the new headquarters would have about 200 employees, half of which are re-located from Decatur and half created as part of a new IT tech center. Meanwhile, the company would keep 4,400 other workers in Decatur. It does not plan any layoffs.
Still, Craig Coil, the president of the Economic Development Corporation for Decatur and Macon County, said ADM’s announcement is disappointing.
“This is kind of just one more day in the life of economic development in Illinois, and you just deal with it and take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you and just adjust to the things that are not as pleasing,” Coil said. "ADM is still going to be our number one employer and we're positive about the long-term presence of ADM in Decatur, but having the corporate flag somewhere else does hurt."
“To ensure that Decatur remains a strong and vibrant community for years to come, we are also announcing today several multi-year financial commitments," Woertz added. "We are investing in Decatur’s economic development to help ensure it flourishes economically, in its schools to foster a strong workforce pipeline, and in critical social services to enhance the quality of community life."
Chicago officials say ADM is considering their city as a new location for its global headquarters. City Spokesman Tom Alexander said Monday that ADM is a dynamic global company and would be a good fit with Chicago. He said officials will do their best to keep ADM in Illinois.
Gov. Pat Quinn's spokeswoman said she does not know if ADM has asked for any incentives to keep its headquarters in Illinois. She said the governor met with ADM executives last week, where officials expressed an interest in moving the operation to a more urban setting.
ADM is No. 27 on the Fortune 500. It is the largest employer in Decatur.