The U.S. division of Munich-based global conglomerate Siemens has relocated its corporate headquarters to Washington, as part of an effort to be more visible and grow its business in the country.
Last month the company opened a nearly 21,000-square-foot office with big windows and expansive views of the city in the Jones Day building between the Capitol and Union Station. The office is designed to be “non-territorial,” meaning it provides plenty of collaborative space like conference rooms and even the chief executive puts away his belongings so his office can be used by other employees when he’s away.
Siemens has brought together more than 40 employees in the new office, said Eric Spiegel, president and chief executive of Siemens Corp., the U.S. arm of the business. About one-third of the D.C.-based personnel handles government relations, and much of the other local staff, including Spiegel, represents top management in human resources, strategy, sustainability, legal issues and procurement, among others.
Some of the hires are recent, Spiegel said; as corporate jobs now headquartered elsewhere open up, some are being filled with District-based hires.
Though Siemens has long had a U.S. presence — with $25 billion in revenue and 62,000 employees — Spiegel said the company is pursuing a more comprehensive U.S. strategy. Previously headquartered in New York, the company is now seeking to bolster its reputation, develop more U.S. leaders and grow its revenue.
Siemens’s U.S. business is divided into three sectors: health care, for which it provides diagnostics and information technology products; energy, including renewables and oil and gas; and industry, which covers products like light rail trains.
Because these areas are the subject of recent policy debates in Washington, Spiegel said it increasingly makes sense to locate the company here. Additionally, the federal government makes up about 5 to 10 percent of the company’s revenue.
The business has downsized its office in New York, but does not plan to close any of its offices as a result of the relocation.
Spiegel said he expects to increase the number of D.C.-based employees and will probably expand the office into space remaining on its floor at the Jones Day building.
The D.C. area has attracted other major corporations in recent years. Fairfax County has welcomed Volkswagen Group of America, Hilton Worldwide and Science Applications International Corp., among others, and is preparing for Northrop Grumman’s relocation this year.