Boeing will move global HQ to Arlington
The Boeing Co., the world’s third-largest defense contractor, is moving its global headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, the company announced May 5.
With more than 141,500 employees worldwide and operations in more than 65 countries, the aerospace and defense company will be the largest defense contractor headquartered in Virginia.
Boeing already employs 400 people at its 4.7-acre campus in Arlington’s Crystal City — near Amazon.com Inc.’s HQ2 and Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus. Boeing spokesperson Paul Lewis told Virginia Business that there will be “no major job relocations” accompanying the headquarters move. Boeing also plans to develop a research and technology hub in the area, leveraging a $50 million gift to Virginia Tech that Boeing made in May 2021, according to another company spokesperson, Connor Greenwood. Boeing did not provide details such as a time frame for the move or how much the company is investing.
In a statement following the announcement, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, a Virginia Tech alumnus, thanked Gov. Glenn Youngkin and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner for helping to secure the deal, which The Wall Street Journal reported had been in the works for months.
In 2017, Boeing moved its defense unit from St. Louis to Arlington to be closer to the federal government and Pentagon officials.
“We are excited to build on our foundation here in Northern Virginia,” Calhoun says. “The region makes strategic sense for our global headquarters, given its proximity to our customers and stakeholders and its access to world-class engineering and technical talent.”
Youngkin says the move shows Virginia “is the premier location for aerospace companies.”
Virginia Economic Development Partnership President and CEO Jason El Koubi agrees. “Boeing and other high-caliber firms are attracted to the commonwealth’s combination of diverse, world-class engineering and tech talent, strategic location and exceptional quality of life,” El Koubi says. “Boeing’s new research and technology hub will further strengthen Virginia’s innovation ecosystem in areas like cybersecurity, autonomous operations, quantum sciences and software and systems engineering.”
Boeing also has research centers in St. Louis; Huntsville, Alabama; Charleston, South Carolina; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. A Boeing aeronautics research subsidiary, Aurora Flight Sciences, is located in Manassas. Boeing’s new Arlington-area research center will provide the company “with the ability to develop technology and talent, and see its implementation in real systems,” Lewis says.
Virginia Business Associate Editor Courtney Mabeus contributed to this article.