ATK Moves HQ to VA; Most MN Jobs Untouched

Many of the company's aerospace and defense peers and customers are already located in the Washington, D.C., area-and having more of a presence there will help facilitate international and commercial diversification, according to a spokesman.

Alliant Techsystems, Inc., (ATK) on Thursday announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to Arlington, Virginia, as of October 1.

The move means relocating the company's top leaders-including President and CEO Mark W. DeYoung, interim CFO Tom Sexton, and the dozen or so senior vice presidents-from the current Eden Prairie headquarters to an existing office in Virginia where the company recently leased an additional floor of space.

However, the rest of ATK's roughly 2,700 Minnesota employees will remain in the state and in their current posts.

ATK spokesman Brian Grace told Twin Cities Business that there are several reasons for the decision to move top executives: One is that many of the company's aerospace and defense competitors and partners are already headquartered in the Washington, D.C., area. Some of its biggest customers-including NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense-also are there.

Additionally, “international and commercial diversification of our business base is our big strategic push,” Grace said, adding that it's been a major focus of DeYoung since he took the helm in early 2010. “This is putting our executive boots on the ground in an area where they can help make that a reality.”

For the company's fiscal year that ended in March, 14 percent of revenue was generated internationally and 18 percent was from commercial customers. “Those are big areas that we would look to grow,” Grace said.

The company has already made some efforts to grow its international presence, including opening three or four regional offices outside of the United States over the past year, according to Grace.

In DeYoung's words: “The relocation of ATK's headquarters to the Washington, D.C., area will provide our company with opportunities for increased engagement with our customers and Congress, as well as with our aerospace and defense industry peers that already are located in the region,” he said in a statement. “Expanding our presence and visibility in the Washington area will support our strategy of creating a more global, diversified company.”

ATK currently employs about 3,500 in the mid-Atlantic region and operates facilities in Maryland and West Virginia in addition to its Arlington office.

ATK employs approximately 18,000 people total and is among Minnesota's 20-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $4.84 billion for the fiscal year that ended in March.