McDonald’s Corp. will move its headquarters to downtown Chicago, part of Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook’s plan to attract new and younger employees.
The relocation to the city’s West Loop neighborhood will happen by the spring of 2018, the company, currently based in suburban Oak Brook, Illinois, said Monday in a statement. McDonald’s previously was headquartered in Chicago from 1955 to 1971.
The relocation is the latest move by Easterbrook to help turn McDonald’s into a more modern company, in part by drawing from the city’s base of younger professionals. Since taking the helm more than a year ago, Easterbrook has slimmed down the menu, tweaked kitchen procedures and trimmed overhead costs by laying off corporate employees. The company also is working to revamp its digital operations and catch up to rivals like Starbucks Corp. and Yum! Brands Inc.’s Taco Bell.
“Now that we have signed a lease in Chicago, we will begin to work with a third party to market our Oak Brook facilities to potential buyers,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Becca Hary said in an e-mail. While design plans are still in the early stages, the new office will help the company operate more efficiently, she said.
McDonald’s joins a number of large companies in relocating to Chicago from more suburban locations. Kraft Heinz Co. announced plans last year to move its Kraft headquarters to the city from Northfield, Illinois. ConAgra Foods Inc., meanwhile, is shifting its home base to Chicago from Omaha, Nebraska. Motorola Solutions Inc. also is bringing its headquarters to the Windy City. Workers will begin relocating from Schaumburg, Illinois, starting this summer.
McDonald’s new headquarters also will contain its Hamburger University, a learning center for company leaders and employees.
The shares rose 0.8 percent to $123.35 at 1:13 p.m. in New York. McDonald’s had gained 3.6 percent this year through Friday.