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The newly merged Kraft Heinz reportedly will move its corporate headquarters to downtown Chicago, abandoning Kraft's longtime north suburban office complex.
All Chicago-area employees of Kraft Heinz will occupy 170,000 square feet over five floors in Chicago's Aon Center starting in early 2016, according to published reports. The company expects to sublease its expansive office complex in Northfield, which underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation in late 2013, as well as a small downtown presence on North Michigan Avenue. The move allows the newly combined company an opportunity "to firmly establish our dynamic new culture based on meritocracy, speed, efficiency and collaboration,” spokesman Michael Mullen told Crain's Chicago Business.
Kraft has about 2,300 Chicago-area employees spread across some 700,000 square feet of corporate offices in Northfield and a small R&D center nearby in Glenview. No announcements were made about the future of the Glenview location or the possibilty of any job cuts.
The company will maintain co-headquarters in the Chicago area and Pittsburgh, the historic home base of H.J. Heinz.
This move comes about two weeks after the food manufacturers merged in a deal engineered by Heinz's owners, Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett and Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital. The new owners have pledged to cut spending by $1.5 billion by the end of 2017, expected to be achieved through increased scale, operational efficiencies and other cuts.