(Bloomberg) -- America’s top meat company is following in the footsteps of hedge fund Citadel and Boeing Inc. with plans to move white-collar workers out of the Chicago area.
Tyson Foods Inc. said Wednesday it’s shifting all of its corporate teams to its longtime headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, the company said in a statement. That means about 1,000 employees from downtown Chicago and its Downers Grove suburb will relocate, as will workers in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota.
The relocation comes as Chicago struggles with rising crime, high-profile corporate departures and fewer downtown workers in the post-pandemic era. About half of the jobs being moved are in Chicago, a Tyson spokesman said. He added that the decision was based solely on the desire to bring its corporate team together, and not related to crime or high taxes.
“While we’re disappointed to learn of this decision, we expect that the company will continue to access businesses in our food and agriculture ecosystem, as well, route vital supplies and product through the region’s vast transportation network,” said Michael Fassnacht, the city’s chief marketing officer.
Illinois’s richest man, Ken Griffin, said earlier this year he was moving his Citadel hedge fund to Miami. Boeing Co. said it would pull its headquarters from the city and Caterpillar Inc. decided to move from the Chicago suburb of Deerfield to Texas.
Still, Alphabet Inc.’s Google recently announced it was buying a downtown building the size of a city block, which Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said will add at least 3,000 jobs. Ferrero Group, the Italian candy maker, said it plans to house 170 workers in a new research and development facility in the Loop, as Chicago’s central business district is know.
The food and beverage industry in the Chicago area generates employees 65,000 people and generates $9.4 billion a year, said Fassnacht, who is also president of World Business Chicago. He added that the city is “in active discussions with other notable food and beverage companies that will soon announce moves and expansion in Chicago.”
Tyson’s relocation will be done gradually and begin early next year. Founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson, the company now employs 137,000 people. In Chicago, it has operated an office in the West Loop near Union Station.
(Updates with city comments from third paragraph.)
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