ConAgra moving to Chicago

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ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:42 pm

Lots of rumors and speculation flying around. Looking for more space in DT Chicago, Omaha board members stepping down, CEO refusing to move his family from Chicago and he did the same thing with the last company he headed up (granted from the suburbs to downtown). With his comments about cutting costs and shipping jobs overseas it seems logical with so many fewer employees left.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby iamjacobm » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:07 pm

Wouldn't shock me. The idea of cutting costs and the moving to an incredibly expensive office market when you have a sweetheart deal isn't very logical, but probably doesn't matter.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Midwestern » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:21 pm

Well at this point it seems fairly inevitable that at least some jobs from ConAgra will be leaving Omaha, but I hope that at least some stay in the metro area.

They should move whatever jobs stay in Omaha back into the old ConAgra building on 15th street. 8)

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Linkin5 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:29 am

It's a shame but from things I have read ConAgra was warned to restructure but it just never got done. I wouldn't be shocked to see the company move headquarters, there is just too much smoke.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:00 am

That would be heartbreaking. I spoke to someone who worked there about what was happening. She said that basically JANA is trying to make them more competitive, especially in light of mergers like Kraft and Heinz. She never mentioned anything about ConAgra moving.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby GetUrban » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:02 am

They haven't moved yet, and possibly never will....but it could add another bullet point to the reasons the JC debacle was such a huge mistake.
He said "They are some big, ugly red brick buildings"
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:06 am

Between the hundreds going away with private brands, the thousand that are going to be gutted in a month as he ships jobs to india and his inability to actually grow a company, these are all steps from private equity firms and the Hillshire Brands playbook that allowed him to bide time and rape the company for millions. The strategy of sell businesses, buyback stock, layoff thousands and ship jobs overseas only serves to reduce the shares outstanding, drive up the price short term, make executives rich and then either leave the company a shell to wither away or be grabbed up (again, making executives even more rich).

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:46 am

Guest wrote:Between the hundreds going away with private brands, the thousand that are going to be gutted in a month as he ships jobs to india and his inability to actually grow a company, these are all steps from private equity firms and the Hillshire Brands playbook that allowed him to bide time and rape the company for millions. The strategy of sell businesses, buyback stock, layoff thousands and ship jobs overseas only serves to reduce the shares outstanding, drive up the price short term, make executives rich and then either leave the company a shell to wither away or be grabbed up (again, making executives even more rich).


Evidence?
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:04 pm

This is the rumors section. However, lets look at facts:

1. CEO has history at Hillshire of sending LARGE swaths of jobs to India
2. CEO has stated that he will be outsourcing back office support (i.e. corporate jobs).
3. Crane's has reported Conagra is looking to get 200k in space (up from the 150k they have, which is BEFORE they cut people at that location and put them into smaller work spaces, as the CEO believes in and did at Hillshire).
4. Building 9 is up for sale.
5. Omaha board members step down (make sense because they have their reputation in the Omaha business community to worry about).
6. All the buzz words the CEO uses are the same buzzwords he used at Hillshire and were the same buzzwords he used to describe why he wanted to move to downtown chicago then.
7. CEO is from Chicago and refuses to move his family here.
8. Every single executive he has brought on board lives in and will work in Chicago.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:20 pm

Huh. Thanks for that!
Any affiliation past or present with ConAgra or the execs?
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby PotatoeEatsFish » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:56 pm

Lots of people would be ticked off since they demolished Jobber's Canyon for their HQ, just to leave it.
I got that Milf $

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby PotatoeEatsFish » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:57 pm

Wait if they moved would they still have offices in Omaha?
I got that Milf $

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby mr. omaha » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:24 am

PotatoeEatsFish wrote:Lots of people would be ticked off since they demolished Jobber's Canyon for their HQ, just to leave it.


Mike Harper's grave would be perpetually soaked in urine.
Last edited by mr. omaha on Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:42 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby mr. omaha » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:25 am

...Enough to fill a lagoon.
Last edited by mr. omaha on Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby mr. omaha » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:25 am

If ConAgra leaves Omaha all the preservationists who fought to save Jobbers Canyon should tie off ropes and tear down the statue of Chef Boyardee.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Coyote » Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:11 am

City economic business decisions made decades ago were based on contemporary facts that could never predict corporate takeovers from outside financial institutions, period. Omaha may lose a F500 with whom we have invested an identity, even in our grand Eppley entrance, which have been given a carte Blanche access to our city government agencies...

Forumers like novakomaha have tried to show that the 'national treasure' that ConAgra 'stole' from Omaha's Jobbers Canyon were decrepit silos (I am still waiting for an accurate 1970 feasibility study of redevelopment) that would given pre-anticipated 21st Century Downtown Omaha Revival a raison d'être.

That said... Corporate takeovers Vis-a-vis corporate raider Edward Lewis, will always exist. Get used to it. I hate to see comments when Berkshire Hathaway gets sold piece by piece...
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:01 am

This sort of freaks me out a little bit. How would an exit by ConAgra affect our economy? What would we do with their old place?
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby GetUrban » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:23 pm

RNcyanide wrote:This sort of freaks me out a little bit. How would an exit by ConAgra affect our economy? What would we do with their old place?

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Due to lessons learned from the past, Omaha would be in much better shape to handle the loss today than we were in the mid 1980s. There would be a huge redoubling of the effort to land another fortune 500 company to replace them. Omaha's shortcomings would not be seen as the reason for their departure..the volatility of take-overs and acquisitions is the culprit. I believe our local economy is less dependent on single large employers than in the past.

As for their current campus, if new occupants couldn't be found, the possubilities for redevelopment into something better are endless.
He said "They are some big, ugly red brick buildings"
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Guest » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:43 pm

I wish I shared your optimism. The loss of annual salaries/bonuses of hundreds of millions dollars annually seems like it will hurt. Flooding the job market with hundreds of finance people looking for jobs seems unsustainable. I imagine we will see the inventory of houses for sale jump a lot.

I also think it is near impossible to just get a Fortune 500 company to move here.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:13 pm

I'd like to think that it'd be easy to bounce back after a major departure like that. But I'm no economist and I have no idea what all goes into those kinds of things.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Erik » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:13 pm

Anybody else wonder why it seems so difficult to retain home grown companies from leaving? Especially our large ones like First Data, Enron, Inacom, ACI Worldwide, Level 3, Conagra etc.

Kinda hard to retain hometown pride when so many people and companies do not want to be here, while most of the rest seem to rather be somewhere else.

Where have we gone wrong?

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:34 pm

We are a different animal today than we were 30 years ago. We gave ConAgra a sweetheart deal to stay here, despite the attempts by Knoxville to lure them in. This time, it's not the grass being greener on the other side that's threatening to make them leave, it's corporate politics at play from a radical player. This one is going to be tough to predict.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby OmahaJaysCU » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:36 pm

They won't pack up and move every single job. That would be absurd.

The thing people need to realize is that a ton of Con Agra jobs are going to go a way, either through outsourcing, cuts, or this relocation.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Erik » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:38 pm

But why was it such a struggle to keep them from leaving to Knoxville? Im sure its a nice, smaller community and everything. But why does it feel like Omaha is the ugliest kid on the block so often?

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Erik » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:44 pm

Warren Buffet has done great things for communities like Des Moines, KC and Dallas. Yes, the same three which has a NFM. However, Berkshire has had a powerful influence on some great things happening to those communities.

The only two things i can think of that he has done here is not leave and the berkshire conventions, which im sure will go away when he is done.

All the other philanthropy activities are from his followers, nothing to do with him.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Erik » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:10 pm

Think about this....

We have nothing that nobody else does...
People here always bring you down with comments on how much they hate it here...
Companies finding any reason to leave, but accept sweetheart deals out of desperation.

No company wants to be here. Nobody seems to want to be here.

So, if I may ask, why are we here?

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Erik » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:13 pm

Today is the day that I accept reality. I am finally going to pull the trigger on a transfer to Colorado.

Omaha will never become what we all thought it would. It's more or less a glorified Akron.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:22 pm

Because ConAgra got raided by corporate bandits and has a chance of leaving, it means you're bailing on the city? What kind of logical connection is that? I'm sorry you feel this city has failed you, despite faring possibly the best of any large city during the last recession and the fact that for the last 30 years, we've had stellar employment and get ranked in listings everywhere. So what if we've lost companies to other places. Do you think KC, MSP, DSM, Denver, or any other city roughly our size hasn't? Look at California bleed jobs and companies to other states like Texas. The whole state has it worse than we do as a city! But may Colorado treat you better than we did.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby NovakOmaha » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:25 pm

Erik wrote:But why was it such a struggle to keep them from leaving to Knoxville? Im sure its a nice, smaller community and everything. But why does it feel like Omaha is the ugliest kid on the block so often?


It wasn't so much a struggle. At the time there were operations in Knoxville that were part of a subsidiary & Knoxville offered incentives. Nebraska had to offer incentives to keep them. They were growing at a fantastic rate both organically and through acquisitions. They were going to do something, either build downtown, near a lake off 680 north or (and it may only have been a threat) Knoxville.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Erik » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:36 pm

RNcyanide wrote:Because ConAgra got raided by corporate bandits and has a chance of leaving, it means you're bailing on the city? What kind of logical connection is that? I'm sorry you feel this city has failed you, despite faring possibly the best of any large city during the last recession and the fact that for the last 30 years, we've had stellar employment and get ranked in listings everywhere. So what if we've lost companies to other places. Do you think KC, MSP, DSM, Denver, or any other city roughly our size hasn't? Look at California bleed jobs and companies to other states like Texas. The whole state has it worse than we do as a city! But may Colorado treat you better than we did.


It's true. It seems very illogical. However, I expend a lot of energy into civic pride. Which, again, is probably illogical to do. However, in a city like Omaha, where nobody wants to be, is civic pride an empty shell? Versus a place like Denver where civic pride is everywhere?

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:40 pm

How exactly does no one want to be here, and how do we lack civic pride? In no way do I stand for everyone in this city, but speaking for myself alone, I love this city and I feel there is a great deal of pride. The day I have to leave for whatever reason that may be will really be one of the saddest days of my life. heck, a guy at my gym has a large, detailed tattoo of the skyline on his side. There's some (odd) civic pride.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby HR Paperstacks » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:54 pm

I haven't heard people complain about wanting to leave here since my early twenties. Those who did all wanted to live in larger cities. Now in my late twenties, everyone I know seems to like it here and they show pride in the city. I have one friend who commonly wears some kind of Omaha shirt.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Erik » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:55 pm

RNcyanide wrote:How exactly does no one want to be here, and how do we lack civic pride? In no way do I stand for everyone in this city, but speaking for myself alone, I love this city and I feel there is a great deal of pride. The day I have to leave for whatever reason that may be will really be one of the saddest days of my life. heck, a guy at my gym has a large, detailed tattoo of the skyline on his side. There's some (odd) civic pride.


It's not enough to stop this hemorrhaging of home-grown, large corporations to places like Chicago. Omaha is s large corporation factory to other cities, historically.

Why cant we retain out own companies? How can we expect to attract other companies when ours leave every 5 or so years?

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby OmahaJaysCU » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:11 pm

Dude, chill out.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Erik » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:21 pm

OmahaJaysCU wrote:Dude, chill out.


Im sorry. But I am tired of all the negativity here. Again, probably illogical, but to me this conagra deal is the writing on the wall for our city. That once again, we lose a homegrown, legendary company to a larger city without ever replacing in the form of luring another. Take a look at the list of large companies here, one will leave within 10 years and possibly another. It's a frustrating destiny.

Rince and repeat

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:27 pm

And who's to say that we won't gain any more? Who's to say that something home grown won't explode into something huge? Even if we don't have an HQ proper here, any company that pushes departments and offices in our direction add up. Look at what Pacific Life did in 2004. They were drawn specifically because of tax offerings that they couldn't get from their base in CA. If you can't see past ConAgra and a bad economy 30 years ago, civic pride may be the least of your problems.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Erik » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:33 pm

RNcyanide wrote:And who's to say that we won't gain any more? Who's to say that something home grown won't explode into something huge? Even if we don't have an HQ proper here, any company that pushes departments and offices in our direction add up. Look at what Pacific Life did in 2004. They were drawn specifically because of tax offerings that they couldn't get from their base in CA. If you can't see past ConAgra and a bad economy 30 years ago, civic pride may be the least of your problems.


What im saying is that, yes, we always do way more than replace these companies with other home-grown companies. We still have a nice sized in migration rate despite these things.

But, it seems as if companies leaving is as much of an Omaha legacy as is the inability to lure. That our people grow these things and investors move them out.

Name one fortune 1000 company here that we've lured. Now look at the list of major companies that have left. We are zero-fer in favor of the wrong end of it.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby RNcyanide » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:48 pm

Keep in mind if you want to leave, that's your decision. Good for you. But to base your whole decision on the corporate atmosphere is very, very shallow when considering civic pride.
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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby Erik » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:54 pm

RNcyanide wrote:Keep in mind if you want to leave, that's your decision. Good for you. But to base your whole decision on the corporate atmosphere is very, very shallow when considering civic pride.


You'd see that my decision is based more upon the entire body of work if you read these series of posts. Seriously, the percentage of people that actually want to ne here is very small. I am surprised that you dont see that. It's everywhere, the incessant complaining on feeling stuck in this place. It seems as if people like you and I need to find a location where we are not the exception. Because we are.

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Re: ConAgra moving to Chicago

Postby OmahaJaysCU » Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:00 pm

By "legendary company" do you mean a company stricken with debt from a bad business deal that is attempting to keep from getting cut up like Swiss cheese?

I also completely disagree with your blanket statement that very few people actually want to be here, but whatever.

Can I also point out you're getting worked up over a RUMOR.


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