One month into opening a new Falls Church headquarters, Northrop Grumman chief executive Wes Bush said the company is already benefiting from a slimmed down but more unified corporate staff.
The company, which has moved from Los Angeles into a spacious 14-story office building in Fairview Park near the intersection of Route 50 and the Capital Beltway, last week hosted Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and other local officials to celebrate its new home.
The gated facility houses about 500 employees, 400 of which are corporate personnel, and offers a modern cafeteria, high-tech conference rooms and sweeping views of Falls Church and Fairfax.
Still, Bush, who is also Northrop’s chairman and president, said in an interview last week that the building renovation was not about style.
“We were able to do this quite affordably,” he said from a top-floor conference room. “It’s not a building built for show; it’s a building built for work.”
He pointed to collaborative areas throughout the building meant to give teams places to meet.
Bush said the move to Falls Church already has saved Northrop money as the company reduced its headquarters staff of 360 in Los Angeles to about 300 in Falls Church. Another 100 corporate employees moved from Rosslyn.
Additionally, the relocation has united East Coast and West Coast executives.
“You’re simply not as efficient when you’re operating in two separate pieces,” Bush said. “That efficiency piece did allow us to reduce the size in aggregate of our corporate office.”
The move comes as the Pentagon is putting pressure on defense contractors to lower their prices. Bush said it marks just one step in Northrop’s effort to offer more affordable equipment and services.
The company has made a wide range of other changes in recent years, selling off its advisory services business known as TASC, spinning off its shipbuilding business into an independent company and reducing its headcount. Its relocation has also resulted in a number of new corporate hires.
“Change is healthy; we’re not afraid of it,” said Bush. “The actions we’ve taken over the last several years have helped us get out in front of some of the changes that will be needed for the long-term, but I don’t want to rest on that at all.”