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Pritzker calls Cat’s HQ execs “office personnel” as he downplays company’s move of “one office” to Texas

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2022

* Gov. Pritzker was asked about Caterpillar moving its corporate headquarters out of the suburbs and down to Texas. Man, is this ever a major downplay

Well, if we’re talking about net jobs in the state, actually, Caterpillar has added jobs in our state. So it is true that they are moving 240 of their personnel, those are not manufacturing personnel, they’re office personnel, to another location. But they’ve added hundreds of other jobs to the state. We have more than 17,400 Caterpillar employees that are working in factories and assembly plants in our state. We’ve added many more jobs, in fact, hundreds of thousands of jobs since the worst parts of our pandemic have been added to our economy. So we’re gonna keep working at that. I’m proud of the work that’s been done to attract businesses to the state. We’ve had so many move in here. And of course, disappointed to see Caterpillar move that one office.

Of course businesses reopened after the worst of the pandemic and hired back hundreds of thousands of people, but Illinois’ unemployment rate continues to lag the rest of the country.

Also, Cat has been headquartered in this state for almost a hundred years. This ain’t some just-passing-through company like Boeing.

…Adding… Not to mention the loss of business to accountants, law firms and other headquarters vendors…


…Adding… Background is here if you need it. From comments…

Pritzker on Monday: 200 jobs is a big deal.

Pritzker on Tuesday: 230 jobs is no big deal.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

51 Comments
  1. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 11:14 am:

    Locals will tell you CAT moved the HQ cause the new president had no ties to Peoria. Surprised he has tired of Deerfield so quickly. The real question is yanking the families of the others around. Maybe it is easier with remote work. Maybe Deerfield is not really 20 minutes from O’Hare. Maybe The Lump has Cowboys season tickets


  2. - Exec - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 11:14 am:

    Pritzker to Cat: “Don’t let the door hit you in the …”

    Great message to send to any other company considering a similar move.


  3. - The Way I See It - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 11:24 am:

    Truth is that every medium to large size business is just passing through long enough until some other state or locality hands them a big enough bag to move.


  4. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 11:30 am:

    “Great message to send”

    It is, yes.

    As a wise philosopher once said;

    “No matter where you go, there you are.”


  5. - up2now - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 11:33 am:

    Now, if Hyatt were to move its headquarters out of Illinois, that would be something.


  6. - Mary - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 11:34 am:

    It is no small deal to lose highly compensated employees. These C-suite people likely have over 50-100M in annual taxable salary. (See https://www1.salary.com/CATERPILLAR-INC-Executive-Salaries.html). That is 2.5-5M in state revenue that leaves with just the group Presidents/CFO-types. It adds up.


  7. - Regular democrat - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 11:35 am:

    That aint presidential timber.


  8. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 11:42 am:

    Maybe not terrible if it is as JB said just one office. But it could get terrible if they decide the manufacture part should also go to Texas.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 11:44 am:

    Not one person can say this is nothing or deny this isn’t at all great.

    This quote is probably the best the governor could do, it doesn’t mean it’s the best possible way to respond.

    Bleeding corporate structure folk is “better” than losing 100s of jobs in manufacturing, but it wasn’t too long ago… State Farm, McDonalds, ADM… Caterpillar … those are/were “Illinois”

    A state can’t lose a corporate identity even if it can be spun as “office space changes”


  10. - Middle Way - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 11:53 am:

    Regular democrat gets it right


  11. - Lurker - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 11:56 am:

    He doth protest not enough.


  12. - Suburban Mom - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 11:59 am:

    ===Maybe Deerfield is not really 20 minutes from O’Hare.===

    25 minutes, as long as it’s not rush hour.


  13. - Original Rambler - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:02 pm:

    7 years ago I would have agreed with Regular Democrat. Then our 45th president came along…


  14. - Give Us Barabbas - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:03 pm:

    Truth is, we don’t know and may never know the real reason until someone high up in the CEO office spills the tea. The event is an inkblot test: you get out of it whatever your political and economic predilections already are. Yes, CEOs *are* that petty sometimes, to move part or all of a company for their personal whims or convenience. Sometimes they have a strategy that’s wrong or just not evident to the rest of us.


  15. - Sue - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:07 pm:

    This coming from the same guy who just yesterday treated the announcement of a candy company adding perhaps 200 low paying jobs downstate as if it was the second coming


  16. - Lakefront - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:10 pm:

    == Illinois’ unemployment rate continues to lag the rest of the country ==

    True. The Governor sure knows how to “frame” his employment data. Added “hundreds of thousands of jobs” isn’t really truthful.

    Prepandemic - Illinois had around 6.08 million people employed. Most recent non-preliminary data shows 6.13 million employed. I’m glad we’ve bounced back but this is hardly a rallying cry of success.


  17. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:13 pm:

    JB is trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes once again.

    Instead of working to fix our shortcomings, he dismisses those who point out the obvious fact that Illinois is not business friendly as carnival barkers

    Working to fix our business environment is not “trashing our state” it is actually rebuilding it

    He could also be friendlier to the circus and carnival community

    https://www.wjbc.com/2022/02/04/gov-pritzker-attacks-circus-and-carnival-community-in-state-of-state-message/


  18. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:18 pm:

    “This ain’t some just-passing-through company like Boeing.”

    Anyone familiar with the current board would tell you they are a just-passing-through board, though. The company has none of the same kind people or values it had 30 years ago.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:19 pm:

    - Lucky Pierre -

    To try to get you to think outside your bot ridiculousness, what do you think, like, use thoughts, about how IMA has approached this announcement?

    Is IMA wrong to the thinking? Why or why not, abd to keep it to the post too, how does your negative take towards the governor’s statement fit with the IMA take too?

    Thanks.


  20. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    Well it’s not realistic to expect JB to magically turn into Bruce Rauner and start bad-mouthing the state in order to answer this specific question. Although I admit that it would have been far more entertaining if he had put on a Carhardt jacket and said something like “Well yeah they left because Illinois is a wasteland and our top tax rate is too high and unions ruin everythin’ and everyone else is a-fixin’ to leave Illinois too”


  21. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:25 pm:

    ===magically turn into Bruce Rauner and start bad-mouthing the state===

    Please, that’s a child’s argument.


  22. - Publius - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:42 pm:

    No matter where the “HQ” is where does the CEO spend his time? I work for a company that has an “HQ” in outside of the USA but our CEO is based out of a “office” in Illinois. However he has a “home” out of state. He just commutes in for a few days a month depending where he needs to be. These days a “HQ” is just for show. For all we know he has an “office” in Peoria that he commutes to normally. Some days he doesn’t want to come from Texas so is in his “office” there.


  23. - Publius - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:46 pm:

    I should mention that he same thing goes for senior executives. They often times live out of state and the county and commute in to the “HQ” depending on if the CEO is in that that. Do we know where those senior Executives live today? For my company these days no one lives anywhere near the “HQ”.


  24. - ChicagoBars - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:52 pm:

    Huge airplane dork point of information:
    I’d suspect proximity to O’Hare is pretty irrelevant to the cream of that Caterpillar C-Suite. They own some really nice jets.

    https://aircraft-data.com/owner/caterpillar-inc


  25. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    == Please, that’s a child’s argument==

    Is that so? Given that he’s the gov and his political allies control both houses of the legislature, how should JB have answered this question if not by downplaying it? Criticism of the given response is fair but I don’t see anyone offering alternative suggestions here


  26. - Friendly Bob Adams - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 12:58 pm:

    Well…. Pritzker’s gotta say something, and this is kinda what you’d expect him to say.


  27. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    @Anonymous @12:47 - This week Ferrero announced a new expansion with a new 200+ jobs on top of a previous expansion and other new jobs. That is why the DCEO went to Ferrero more than once.

    To Rich’s addition - the loss of law firm work could be quite big from this move. Moving the HQ from Illinois to Texas means a great deal for any litigation filed against them that doesn’t otherwise have any connection to Illinois.


  28. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 1:28 pm:

    Pritzker on Monday: 200 jobs is a big deal.

    Pritzker on Tuesday: 230 jobs is no big deal.


  29. - X-nuke - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 1:33 pm:

    Living in Deerfield and knowing 2 of those 5 office workers, only one of them was actually living in Illinois for the past two years. The group presidents have never been based here. This is not a surpise as we have known for some time that CAT would not be renewing the lease on their office and most of the C-suite is already elsewhere and has been.


  30. - Wonky Kong - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 1:42 pm:

    = This quote is probably the best the governor could do, it doesn’t mean it’s the best possible way to respond.=
    100%.
    Fair or not, when you and your party currently control all the levers of power in the state, you get to own whatever Illinois currently looks like, regardless of all the bad decisions made before your time. So in an election year where a lot of pollsters have economy/jobs as the top issue, all he can do is point to the good and hope people don’t notice the bad. To offer up an idea to fix it just serves to start another conversation about the differences between Texas and Illinois, and that road only leads to a place that helps his opponents.


  31. - Joe Schmoe - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 2:10 pm:

    Whatever happened to DCEO? Isn’t part of their responsibility to maintain relationships with some of the corporations that employee Illinois workers and pay taxes? Sure, CAT manufactures equipment in a down and dirty industry. But it sure means a lot more than a bag of candy that appeals to JB’s sweet tooth.


  32. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 2:25 pm:

    The loss of jobs, any jobs, is obviously not a good thing. And some jobs get more attention than others. If Ford were to layoff 230 at the Torrence avenue plant would it get the same attention? Probably not. Nor did their decision to invest over $1B into the plant and surrounding area and add over 1K jobs it will add. And that happened on JB’s watch as well. But the spelunkers will tell you that JB is not responsible at all for the success at Ford but somehow is for the loss of CAT exec. jobs. And to that I say, “shouldn’t all jobs matter?”


  33. - Illinois - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 2:26 pm:

    Good point about the DCEO regionals. Have they been nurturing this Fortune 500 company effectively? To lose a few people is one thing, but it’s never good to lose a Fortune 500 company.


  34. - Bruce( no not him) - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 2:30 pm:

    Wait a few (months/years) and go offer a bigger package than texas. They’ll come back. They always follow the money.


  35. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 3:09 pm:

    I can now die happy. Life goal achieved of having my Cap Fax comment included in an update. Everything else after this is pointless.


  36. - Sue - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 3:32 pm:

    Last week the WSJ ran an article detailing the annual income which Illinois has lost over the last couple of years. Other the California Illinois due to job losses has seen billions of dollars a year in peoples income depart the State. On a per capita basis we were the worst State. That’s a lot of lost income tax the State could use to fund expenses. It’s a total lie god Pritzker to say Illinois’ economy is doing great under his leadership


  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 4:01 pm:

    - Sue -

    Explain how revenues from taxes exceeded expectations these past Illinois fiscals.

    Thanks.


  38. - Responsa - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 4:17 pm:

    Had a convo about this with an old college friend today. Her father worked at Caterpillar in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s –part of the time as a union steward. She is distraught about our state losing the prestige of headquartering this historic and important Illinois company, and said she is so glad her dad is no longer alive to see it. It made me realize there are probably a lot of other sad Caterpillar retirees and families to whom this is a psychological blow.


  39. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 4:41 pm:

    =It made me realize there are probably a lot of other sad Caterpillar retirees and families to whom this is a psychological blow.=

    Have you ever talked to a former life long Sears employee? Their wounds are much deeper. But the blame falls squarely on company leadership which is where it belongs.


  40. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 4:43 pm:

    Why did revenues from taxes exceed expectations?

    How about 1.9 trillion in stimulus?

    https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/individual-income-tax-payments-on-pace-to-reach-record-level-11654421400


  41. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 4:58 pm:

    While I hate to see any jobs leave Illinois, I’m not exactly feeling nostalgic about this particular Caterpillar crew. They were under federal investigation for tax fraud until their former attorney became AG and the investigation was stopped without any explanation.

    Maybe we can get some more ethical execs to locate here instead.


  42. - Sue - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 5:32 pm:

    Oswego- my WSJ story is not inconsistent with Illinois tax revenues exceeding projections. (1) the economy recovered faster then anticipated and (2) record capital gains which BTW won’t repeat. The article was noting the totality of salaries lost to other states. Had those people not moved- our Illinois tax revenue would have been even higher. You can’t refute that per capita more salary income has moved out of Illinois then any other state. Go read the article


  43. - Sue - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 6:00 pm:

    Oswego- by the way- the two biggest recipient states of the exodus- Texas and Florida. Low tax growth states with Republican leadership


  44. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 6:17 pm:

    === my WSJ story is not inconsistent with Illinois tax revenues exceeding projections. (1) the economy recovered faster then anticipated===

    Dem leadership? Are you giving credit to Dems for a recovery happening so quickly?

    ===(2) record capital gains which BTW won’t repeat===

    It still happened, no matter how you may or may wavy to see it.

    ===Had those people not moved- our Illinois tax revenue would have been even higher.===

    Goalposts… moved.

    Which is why I wonder… why won’t you move?


  45. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 6:40 pm:

    === the two biggest recipient states of the exodus- Texas and Florida. Low tax growth states with Republican leadership===

    Again, what keeps you here?


  46. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 7:30 pm:

    Oswego Willy - I completely reject your notion that if you don’t like it here you can leave. That is actually pretty offensive. You’re better than that.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 7:32 pm:

    ===I completely reject your notion that if you don’t like it here you can leave.===

    You are confused.

    If you don’t like it here, why are you here?


  48. - Pundent - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 8:48 pm:

    If a person is so miserable that they can’t find anything redeeming in the state where they live but also can’t find their way out, the problem likely doesn’t lie in Springfield, it’s in the mirror.


  49. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 9:14 pm:

    ^ This


  50. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 9:16 pm:

    ==with Republican leadership==

    Do you know how intellectually ignorant statements like these are? If only my political party were in charge things would be better. All the world’s woes are because we aren’t in charge. Bull.


  51. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 15, 22 @ 9:17 pm:

    That was me above


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