Boeing (NYSE: BA) willÂ shift the headquarters of itsÂ $31 billion defense segment from the St. Louis metropolitan region to theÂ Washington, D.C. areaÂ effective Jan. 3, 2017 forÂ top executives to gain closer proximity with government customers, a company spokesperson has confirmed to GovCon Wire.
Close to a dozen senior executives including Boeing Defense, Space & Security CEO Leanne Caret will move from the St. Louis area toÂ the airplane maker’s Arlington, Va. office located near the Pentagon onÂ Jan. 3 with an additional 50 positions lined up for the shift gradually over two years, BoeingÂ representative Ken Smith said.
The move is designed to create more in-person interaction between BDS leaders and agencies, which Smith said would help Caret toÂ “be in your office in 20 minutes” versusÂ “she’ll call you in 20 minutes.”
The Arlington office is also home to theÂ BDS network and space systems unit’s headquarters.
Boeing employs nearly 3, 000 staffers in the Washington, D.C. region with 2, 000 of them located in Virginia, according to the spokesperson.
Caret became CEO of BDS in February and thisÂ decision comes nearly a month after the airplane maker unveiled plans to establish a standalone business unitÂ that will bringÂ together services work from the commercial airplane and BDS segment.
The future Boeing Global Services business is scheduled toÂ commence operations by the third quarter of 2017.
News of BDS’ impending move toÂ Arlington was first reported by Defense One.
Close to 14, 000 Boeing employees will remain in the St. Louis region, Â where the company has based itsÂ fighter jet manufacturing work since 1997 upon the company’sÂ merger with F-15 fighter jet maker McDonnell Douglas.
Boeing’s other flagship programs in the BDS segment include the KC-46 refueling tanker for the Air Force, along with the CST-100 space capsule andÂ Space Launch System rocket for NASA to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
Boeing received its first low-rate initial production contract for theÂ KC-46 in August.
The company is also building the next Air Force One jetliner, which was the subject of a tweet from President-elect Donald Trump one week ago that called forÂ the contract’s cancellation.