Raytheon relocating headquarters from Waltham to just outside DC
With aerospace large Boeing’s just lately introduced relocation to northern Virginia, Raytheon would have caught out among the many 5 largest protection contractors if it saved its headquarters right here. That mentioned, Raytheon stays one in every of Massachusetts’ largest employers, with an estimated 15,000 employees throughout services in Andover, Tewksbury, and different suburban Boston areas. The corporate reported $64 billion in income final yr, and a worldwide workforce of 174,000 individuals.
“It’s all the time a bummer to lose the headquarters. That’s the place the ability heart of the corporate is,” mentioned John Regan, chief govt of Related Industries of Massachusetts, which counts Raytheon as a longtime member. “They’ve actually communicated to me . . . that the intention is to maintain a robust presence in Massachusetts and hold the top depend excessive. From that perspective, I believe it’s OK. Hopefully, they’re in a position to hold that dedication going ahead.”
However Raytheon’s transfer does increase questions concerning the long-term impression on philanthropic giving, civic involvement, and facility funding selections. The largest implication, although, could also be exhausting to measure.
“There are location-branding implications when a state loses a significant Fortune 500 headquarters,” mentioned John Boyd, a website choice knowledgeable based mostly in Boca Raton, Fla. “The fact is that northern Virginia has develop into the middle of gravity for the nation’s protection and aerospace industries.”
Raytheon spokesman Chris Johnson mentioned the transfer to Arlington will occur earlier than the tip of September, and can lead to a “slight growth” of an current Raytheon workplace, close to the Pentagon. The corporate will retain its Waltham company workplace, Johnson added, and doesn’t anticipate a web improve in employment in Virginia consequently.
Raytheon’s relocation follows Boeing’s announcement in Could that it might transfer its company headquarters from Chicago to its workplace in Arlington, Va. Trade rivals Common Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman are already based mostly within the D.C. suburbs, with all besides Lockheed Martin in northern Virginia.
“You possibly can say this was form of inevitable,” mentioned Loren Thompson, a protection analyst with the Lexington Institute, a conservative assume tank that receives funding from Raytheon and different contractors. “It’s type of unhappy, as a result of Raytheon acquired its begin throughout the road from MIT the place the Necco sweet [factory] was. What occurs is, when your key rivals transfer into shut proximity to your key buyer, you form of must observe them to remain aggressive.”
Raytheon mentioned it’s making the transfer to extend “its agility in supporting U.S. authorities and industrial aerospace prospects” and to “reinforce partnerships” to develop progressive applied sciences for the aerospace trade. Raytheon additionally famous that every of its 4 enterprise items — Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Intelligence & House, and Missiles & Protection — have operations in Virginia. The corporate mentioned it has not accepted or sought any authorities incentives for the transfer.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin bragged concerning the Raytheon transfer on Tuesday, saying this “determination to headquarter in Arlington demonstrates that the Commonwealth [of Virginia] is the perfect vacation spot for the aerospace and protection neighborhood.”
In the meantime, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker downplayed the native impact right here, saying Raytheon is solely maintaining with its rivals. He advised a reporter that the corporate knowledgeable him of the transfer shortly earlier than the announcement and made it clear there wouldn’t be any lack of native jobs.
“I don’t assume it’s going to have any impression on their progress or their continued involvement right here,” Baker mentioned. “They’ve some deep roots right here, and a few crucial applications which can be specialised, that will be actually exhausting to maneuver within the first place.”
Raytheon acquired its begin in 1922, in Cambridge, because the American Equipment Co., although it shortly shifted its focus to electronics and have become one in every of Massachusetts’ first main tech corporations. It was the main producer of a microwave-generating electron tube generally known as the magnetron, which the US navy used to enhance radar detection of enemy planes in World Conflict II. That work led to the corporate’s commercialization of the microwave oven. Raytheon additionally contributed to Route 128′s repute as “America’s Know-how Freeway” in the course of the hall’s heyday.
By the point of its 2020 merger with UTC, Raytheon had develop into identified for its missile and satellite tv for pc methods, whereas UTC was spinning off its Otis elevator and Provider heating-and-cooling divisions to deal with aerospace. At present, Raytheon employs hundreds of individuals throughout a number of Pratt & Whitney services in Connecticut, and maintains a significant “built-in protection methods” website in Portsmouth, R.I., the place almost 1,000 individuals labored earlier than the pandemic started.
Chris Anderson, president of the Massachusetts Excessive Know-how Council, mentioned he wasn’t nervous Raytheon’s transfer can be seen as a criticism of Massachusetts tax insurance policies.
“I wouldn’t learn something into it,” mentioned Anderson, who’s among the many enterprise leaders preventing a proposed tax on excessive earners that goes to the poll this yr. “It’s unlucky to lose a stellar, marquee, headquarters firm like Raytheon, however the financial impression is de minimis.”
Anderson likened the choice to Common Electrical’s headquarters transfer from Connecticut to Massachusetts in 2016, which in the end introduced solely about 200 jobs to Boston. With Raytheon’s departure, GE will develop into the biggest protection contractor headquartered in Massachusetts, with navy work that features jet and helicopter engine manufacturing at a sprawling manufacturing facility in Lynn.
Joseph Donovan, a neighborhood defense-sector lobbyist with legislation agency Nelson Mullins, mentioned Massachusetts officers ought to domesticate the subsequent technology of protection companies, partly by investing in workforce improvement and private-sector partnerships with native universities.
“Raytheon’s legacy and historical past is in Massachusetts,” Donovan mentioned. “Extra importantly, we have to deal with progress and innovation methods to develop the subsequent Raytheon in Massachusetts.”
Catherine Carlock of the Globe workers contributed to this report.
Jon Chesto will be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Observe him on Twitter @jonchesto.