1. What are the drawbacks and benefits associated with moving business unit and corporate HQ to another country?
2. If you were a CEO or a business unit head, under what conditions would you consider moving HQ?
3. If you were a government official in the MNE's home country, what can you do to discourage such moves of multinational HQ out of the country?
A number of MNEs have moved headquarters (HQ) overseas. In general, there are two levels of HQ: business unit HQ and corporate HQ. At the business unit level, examples are numerous. In 2004, Nokia moved its corporate finance HQ from Helsinki, Finland, to New York. In 2006, IBM's global procurement office moved from New York to Shenzhen, China. In 2009, Nomura transferred its investment banking HQ from Tokyo to London. Examples of corporate HQ relocations are fewer, but they tend to be of higher profile. In 1992, HSBC moved corporate HQ from Hong Kong to London. Similarly, Anglo American, Old Mutual, and SAB (later to become SABMiller after acquiring Miller Brewing Company) moved from South Africa to London. In 2004, News Corporation moved corporate HQ from Melbourne, Australia, to New York. In 2005, Lenovo set up corporate HQ in Raleigh, North Carolina, home of IBM's former PC division that Lenovo acquired. The question is: Why?