The Board of Directors of Les Schwab Tire Centers announced that Les Schwab reached an agreement with the City of Bend to purchase land that will be used for new corporate offices.
>Dick Borgman promoted to Chief Executive Officer
The Bend City Council approved the purchase at a meeting held today. In addition, the Board approved the appointment of Dick Borgman as Chief Executive Officer.
"Les Schwab Tire Centers' history is rooted in this region and our Board of Directors is pleased to find a suitable location for our new corporate offices here in central Oregon," said Les Schwab Tire Centers Chairman Phil Wick.
"This concludes a long process that I have been working on for the last year," Wick said. "We wanted to remain in Oregon but also looked at areas beyond the state. The Bend headquarters location provides the land and infrastructure needed to support our business and reinforces our commitment to the central Oregon region that has supported us. We look forward to drawing upon a skilled labor force that will help us grow further in the years ahead."
The new corporate headquarters will be approximately 120,000 square feet and located on 12 acres of land in the Juniper Ridge development, northeast of Bend. The company anticipates the building will be completed in the fall of 2008.
"We were excited to be approached by Les Schwab and given the opportunity to have a company of this caliber as an anchor in the Juniper Ridge development," said Andy Anderson, Bend City Manager. "This is a company that started in central Oregon and sets the standard for quality in our business community and commitment to the region."
Approximately 350 professional and administrative employees will work at the Bend office. An additional 800 employees will remain in Prineville at the Les Schwab tire re-treading, warehousing, transport and distribution center.
At its meeting yesterday the board also approved the appointment of Dick Borgman as the new CEO of Les Schwab Tire Centers. Borgman, 51, previously held the title of President, Les Schwab Holding Company Division.
"Dick worked closely with Les and me for the last 16 years," Wick said. "Both the Board of Directors and the Schwab family have complete confidence that he is the right person to lead the company over the next phase of continued growth and expansion."
Les Schwab founded Les Schwab Tire Centers in Prineville, Ore., in 1952. In 2006, Les Schwab's sales will exceed 1.6 billion dollars.
Prineville Mayor Mike Wendel said the city intends to keep the lines of communication open with Les Schwab Tire Company in an effort to keep the main offices in Prineville.
"We will talk to them and see what we need to do to keep it here," he said. "We are listening to what their needs are, and if there is anything we can do to try to fulfill their needs we will do what we can to fulfill them."
"I believe Les Schwab's has been a large part of our community for a long time," he continued. "I think a move would be a big cultural hit to this community."
Wendel emphasized the positive impact the Schwab family imparts on the community.
"Les Schwab and his family will always be a part of Prineville and we will always value them as people and as a great asset to our community."
Wendel added such a large relocation of staff will have an economic impact on the Prineville community in that those workers will likely no longer frequent Prineville's restaurants nor utilize other local services while working.
Wendel said he is confident in the future of Prineville no matter what happens.
"Prineville is a community that can take on any challenge and rebound," Wendel said.
Prineville City Manager Robb Corbett was disappointed with the news.
"I haven't heard anything officially," Corbett said early this afternoon, regarding the corporate move.
"The city regrets the decision that they'll be moving their headquarters and the jobs associated with that," Corbett said. "However, they're still one of our top employers in the community and that their future success is critical to keeping their people employed."
Corbett said if this move is something that benefits the company, "then we're supportive of it."