Indianapolis just picked up another corporate headquarters—one that it has been seeking for more than five years.
On Tuesday, agriculture giant Corteva Inc. said it has designated Indianapolis as global headquarters, effective immediately.
The maker of agricultural seeds, insecticides and herbicides had been based in Wilmington, Delaware, since its spinoff from parent DowDuPont in 2019. But in recent years, it had called Indianapolis one of its “global business centers.”
With the change, CEO Chuck Magro will make Indianapolis his primary office, as will chief financial officer Dave Anderson, a company spokeswoman told IBJ.
Corteva officials did not say whether additional operations would move here. The company has more than 20,000 employees worldwide, including about 1,500 on its Zionsville Road campus, about 15 miles northwest of downtown.
“The company evaluated this decision based on a number of factors, and based on this analysis, Indianapolis was the ideal choice,” the spokeswoman, Kasey Anderson, told IBJ. “Indianapolis is a world class city with outstanding attributes.”
The Zionsville Road campus features 14 buildings, 42 greenhouses and dozens of labs where workers devise new products to help farmers increase yield and control insects, fungus and unwanted vegetation.
The campus was known for nearly two decades as the home of Dow AgroSciences, before a series of mergers and spinoffs occurred, starting about five years ago.
The company’s announcement on Tuesday hinted that workers could continue to perform from any location.
“In today’s flexible world of work, we have seen clear proof that our dedicated employees can be productive wherever they are. Designating our Indianapolis location as the Corteva headquarters brings us closer to our operations, our technology, and our customers, while optimizing our flexibility,” Magro said in written remarks.
The company’s announcement was relatively brief and was combined with the news that a senior leader, Rajan Gajaria, executive vice president of business platforms, will retire on Feb. 18.
More than five years ago, as the plans for the company’s merger and subsequent spinoff were unfolding, Indiana officials tried to persuade Dow and DuPont to make Indianapolis the headquarters for the merged agricultural operations.
But that didn’t happen. In February 2016, the companies announced that Wilmington, Delaware, would be the headquarters for their combined agricultural businesses, and that Indianapolis would be one of its two “global business centers.” The other center would be in Johnston, Iowa, longtime home to DuPont’s Pioneer seed business.
But the company undoubtedly has strong roots in Indianapolis. In 1989, Eli Lilly and Co. and Dow Chemical formed Dow Elanco, a joint venture here to produce agricultural products. In 1997, Dow acquired full ownership and renamed the operation Dow AgroSciences.
In 2015, Dow and DuPont announced plans to merge, then spin off into three independent companies. A year later, the merged companies became DowDuPont, with Indianapolis being named as one of its “global business centers.”
In 2018, Corteva Agriscience was unveiled as the agricultural division’s new name. (“Cor” is Latin for “heart,” and “teva” is ancient Hebrew for “nature.”) A year later, DowDuPont spun off Corteva.
In 2017, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. signed an agreement under which Corteva would endeavor to create 600 additional jobs here by 2028 in exchange for up to $26 million in conditional tax credits.
In 2018, Indianapolis gave Corteva $30 million in incentives to stay here under its new corporate structure.
Corteva had revenue last year of $15.6 billion.