Metro-East News

Boeing to shift its defense headquarters to Washington, D.C.

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2011 file photo, the Boeing Company logo on the property in El Segundo, Calif. Boeing Co. A World Trade Organization panel on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016 ruled that Washington state offered billions in illegal tax breaks to plane maker Boeing, saying that the U.S. government must take action to end the plans within months.
FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2011 file photo, the Boeing Company logo on the property in El Segundo, Calif. Boeing Co. A World Trade Organization panel on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016 ruled that Washington state offered billions in illegal tax breaks to plane maker Boeing, saying that the U.S. government must take action to end the plans within months. AP

One of St. Louis’ major employers confirmed Tuesday that is moving part of its headquarters to Washington, D.C.

Boeing officials told Defense One, a website that covers defense and national security, it will move its defense unit headquarters from St. Louis to Washington. Defense One reported that the company is making the move in order to improve relations between the company, which is America’s largest aerospace manufacturer, and U.S. government officials.

“This decision highlights our commitment to more strategically engage with customers and decision makers,” Todd Blecher, a spokesman for the firm’s defense business, told Defense One.

According to the report, Leanne Caret, the president and chief executive officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, will begin working full-time from Washington on Jan. 3. Boeing has offices in Arlington, Va., near the Pentagon.

“If one of our customers wants to talk to us, it will be better to say, ‘Leanne can be in your office in 20 minutes’ versus saying ‘She’s going to call you in 20 minutes,” Blecher told Defense One.

The report said Boeing’s move initially involves only a dozen or so executives. Another 50 people could be moved to the District in the future.

Boeing spokesman Philip Carder told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the rank-and-file of Boeing’s employees will not be affected by the company’s decision.

“There were will no change to the day-to-day operations at the St. Louis site,” Carder told the Post-Dispatch.

According to the Post-Dispatch, the move comes nearly 20 years to the day after Boeing announced it was buying St. Louis-based McDonnell Douglas and would base its defense operations in the city. The merger, worth $13.3 billion, was first announced on Dec. 15, 1996, and finalized the following year.

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