“While we considered other global hubs, Chicago emerged as the best location to provide efficient access to global markets while maintaining our close connections with U.S. farmers, customers and operations,” said ADM chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz. “Chicago also provides an environment where we can attract and retain employees with diverse skills, and where their family members can find ample career opportunities.
ADM plans to staff a small corporate team of about 50 to 75 employees in the new office, and the company will now evaluate alternative sites for its new information technology and support center, where it expects to add about 100 new IT jobs. Locations are being considered in several states, and ADM expects to make a decision by mid-year 2014, according to Woertz.
Although the company had considered establishing a larger global headquarters and the IT center in one location, which Woertz said would have "included state government support and multi-year commitments to stakeholders," that plan could not be realized within ADM’s timeframe.
Still, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel called ADM's move a win for the city, saying it would solidify Chicago's ranking as one of the top cities in the world for international headquarters.
"Our goal was to put the city's best foot forward and highlight Chicago's strengths: an outstanding workforce, globally renowned transportation and infrastructure, and excellent quality of life," Emanuel said in a statement.
Woertz noted that ADM plans to designate its 44-year-old former headquarters in Decatur, IL, the company’s North American headquarters, and that no layoffs are planned in connection with the move to a new global center.
“We appreciate the interest and support expressed by many civic and governmental leaders as we have considered a variety of options for our new global center,” Woertz said. “We look forward to finalizing the selection of a site in Chicago soon, and to accelerating the selection of a suitable location for our IT center.”