Despite a leadership change, Caterpillar will continue its plan to build a new headquarters in downtown Peoria, according to Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Griffin.
“They are committed to downtown Peoria and nothing has changed in that regard,” Griffin said.
Griffin is also confident that CAT will stick to it’s timeline of delivering the new headquarters in about ten years, a promise made in February, 2015.
“The ten-year timeline that they are on, we are still optimistic, very optimistic about that,” Griffin said.
Caterpillar did not mention its new headquarters in its news release announcing Oberhelman’s retirement.
Oberhelman led Caterpillar to its highest sales and revenue peak in 2012. But his February, 2015 announcement of CAT keeping its headquarters in downtown Peoria was possibly the highlight of his tenure.
“To have a company like Caterpillar committed to being in downtown Peoria is fantastic for us,” Griffin said.
CAT has increased its quarterly dividend by 83 percent since 2010.
A weakened coal mining industry led to significant, recent losses. The company announced its cost reduction effort in September, 2015, expected to affect up to 10,000 employees worldwide by 2018. CAT depleted its workforce by 20 percent during Oberhelman’s tenure.
Oberhelman’s retirement is effective March 31, 2017.