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Northrop Grumman Corp. Leaving Los Angeles

From The Wall Street Journal:

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Monday it plans to move its headquarters to the Washington, D.C., area from Los Angeles, marking the departure of the last major aerospace firm from the industry’s birthplace in Southern California.

The shift will put Northrop’s top executives near its biggest U.S. military and intelligence customers and the congressional holders of the military’s purse strings.

“We are a global security company and when you look at where our largest customer base is located, it’s in the Washington, D.C., region,” said Wesley Bush, Northrop’s chief executive and president. Mr. Bush took over as CEO on Jan. 1.

The company will relocate about 300 jobs, though it will still have more than 20,000 employees in the Los Angeles area, according to local officials.

Still, Northrop’s move underscores a broader struggle for Los Angeles: It is the nation’s second-largest city with 13 million people in its metropolitan area, but has suffered a growing exodus of corporations. In addition to defense and aerospace industries, there has been a steady erosion of its other iconic trade, the movie business, as states lure away film productions with rich tax incentives.

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