The other day I admitted that I was not quote convinced of the wisdom of the State of Illinois offering tax credits so that Con-Agra, a billion-bucks makers of processed foods, could move their corporate headquarters close to the home of its new CEO. (See “Home is where the boss is,” Oct. 8, 2015.) I noted that big companies indulge their bosses in such ways all the time, and offered some examples.
Here’s another one. Remember when Boeing announced its desire to leave greater Seattle? Industry observers were betting that the airline would move to Dallas. It opted instead for the Windy City. Skeptics noted that then-CEO Philip Condit and President and COO Harry Stonecipher were opera buffs, and Chicago of course is home to the Lyric Opera Company, which is a sort of Boening of its industry, and they picked out an office building only a block from the Lyric Opera’s theater. (Stonecipher soon joined the Lyric's board of directors.
Condit said the company liked Chicago's "strong pro-business environment," I should think he would; Illinois and Chicago ponied up a $63 million incentive package. If a beggar found himself in a town where a rattle of a cup caused twenty-dollar bills to rain upon his head, he’d move too.