Where corporate headquarters are located has become less an issue for wholesale baking than once was the case. Baking chains from their start were formed by merging a number of independent baking companies serving specific geographic areas. For a time when Wall Street dominated baking, many of the leading companies had their general offices in the New York area. That changed over the years as companies consolidated and the necessity of being near Wall Street and investment bankers vanished with shifts in baking as well as in corporate strategies.
Attention to where baking’s corporate headquarters are located is prompted by the surprise decision disclosed last week by Interstate Bakeries Corp. that it will re-locate its top officers, and thus its headquarters, from Kansas City to Dallas. Considering that I.B.C. has been based in Kansas City since its founding 80 years ago, this move prompted much local agony. This was also due to the move being revealed just as Interstate emerged from its long bankruptcy and also to the reasons given for the re-location, that Dallas offers more opportunity for attracting the sort of executives the company needs. Kansas City found this rather denigrating.
But it also is acknowledged that Craig Jung, who so ably guided I.B.C. out of bankruptcy, has every right to decide such a headquarters move is needed. Sizable staff remains in Kansas City and time will tell whether this bifurcation leads to I.B.C. prosperity, for which everyone wishes.
This article can also be found in the digital edition of Milling and Baking News, February 24, 2008, starting on Page 4. Click