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McDonald’s to remain in Chicago despite crime stopping employees’ return to office

On Wednesday, CEO Chris Kempczinski mentioned that McDonald’s was facing problems trying to relocate corporate officers from other cities to Chicago, due to the crime rate and quality of life. However, he also said that the headquarters of the giant burger chain would remain in the Windy City. He also declared that a new innovation center would come up in Chicago, next to its headquarters. A few other large companies have relocated to other cities, in the recent past.

CEO Kempczinski was talking with business leaders at the Economic Club of Chicago. He said that it was much more difficult to recruit promising talent from McDonald’s who worked in other cities to relocate to Chicago than it was in the past years. He also said that it was also difficult to recruit a new employee in the city as well, when compared to the past.

The McDonald’s chief executive elaborated that employees were reluctant to use the mass transit system in Chicago, to commute to their workplace. He said that they gave the reason as a surge in violent crime as well as the quality of life in the city.

The CEO also said that wherever he went he was asked the same question, “What’s going on in Chicago?” He said that there was a general sense that their city was “in crisis.” He wanted city officials and business leaders to respond and tackle the crisis.

In 2022, the following three large companies have announced that they are leaving the Windy City.
Ken Griffith, who leads the hedge fund Citadel, said that they were moving to Miami, due to the rise in crime, in Chicago.
Caterpillar, a global manufacturer of giant equipment, said that it would be relocating to Dallas-Fort Worth, in Texas.
In May, airplane manufacturer Boeing said that the aerospace firm would be moving to Arlington, Texas.

In contrast, the giant food firm’s CEO Chris Kempczinski reaffirmed his faith in the Windy City and said, “While others are leaving Chicago and Illinois, McDonald’s is doubling down. I can tell you, we’re going to be here.”

McDonald’s Corporation contributes $2 billion, each year to the economy of Chicago. It is also committed to expanding its presence in the Windy City as it will open a new innovation center for research and development that will be located next to its headquarters.

Chicago has been the headquarters for McDonald’s from 1955 to 1971. It shifted to Oak Brook, a suburb in Chicago in 1971 and was in that location till 2018. In 2018, it moved back its headquarters to the city. Its corporate address is 110 N. Carpenter Street, Chicago, IL. 60607.


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