Exxon Corp.'s headquarters shift to a Dallas suburb should inspire city officials to work even harder to hold on to other large companies fleeing to lower-cost markets, an analyst says.
The move announced Thursday involves only 300 jobs, but should not be ignored by New York, said Dennis Donovan, a business relocation consultant."I would say that certainly any city that loses a corporate headquarters ought to be worried about it, particularly when they're moving from high-cost locations to low-cost locations," he said.
The city has responded to past corporate flights with incentives, including a $100 million package offered NBC when it considered moving to New Jersey about two years ago.
Other companies that decided to stay after getting breaks include Chase Manhattan, Drexel Burnham Lambert, American Telephone & Telegraph, Shearson Lehman Hutton and Citicorp.
"But there are other corporations that will consider leaving and New York ought to do everything it can to hold on to them," Donovan said.
The Exxon announcement follows word from J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Mobil Corp. that they were moving headquarters out of New York City.
Stanley Grayson, deputy mayor for finance and economic development, points to 4,500 new companies that have come to the city in the past 10 years.
"Although Exxon is certainly a major company in New York, in the country and the world, the practical matter is they employed 300 people here," he said.
The move comes near the end of one of the most tumultuous years in Exxon history, marked by the March 24 oil spill by a company tanker in Alaska's Prince William Sound. Exxon, the world's largest oil company, has been criticized harshly for what some saw as its inadequate response to the disaster.
Exxon's decision to go to Las Colinas, a real estate development in the Dallas suburb of Irving, had Texas boosters "tickled pink," as Mike Murphy, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Commerce, put it.
Exxon's corporate headquarters once had up to 4,000 people, but the number remaining in New York had been steadily reduced since Exxon moved its international business operations to Florham Park, N.J.