Mobil announced Friday that it plans to consolidate its headquarters by moving the entire New York office of 1,900 employees to Fairfax, Va., a suburb of Washington.
The move is expected to take about three years, said Mobil Chairman and Chief Executive Allen E. Murray.
He said the decision to leave New York was difficult because Mobil, through its predecessor companies, has been based here since 1866.
Mobil is the nation's second-largest oil company, reporting $49.4 billion in revenue last year. Only New York-based Exxon's $76.2 billion in revenue was greater.
The oil company's offices are currently split between Fairfax and New York, a setup which, Murray said, leads to inherent organizational inefficiencies.
The high cost of living and operating a business in New York were other reasons for the decision, he said.
"The decision to consolidate the headquarters in Fairfax was a business issue based on operating economics, competitive considerations and the personal costs being incurred by the employees. The company has good relations with both the state and city governments in New York," Murray said.
Murray said some employees at other Mobil offices have been reluctant to take jobs in New York because of the high cost of living and the amount of time they would spend commuting to Mobil's mid-town Manhattan office at 150 East 42nd St.
Mobil reviewed real estate costs, taxes, commutation and the quality of education at various locations before deciding to consolidate its headquarters in Fairfax, he said.
"The business environment in that state is quite favorable," Murray said of Virginia. "And the experience of Mobil's employees who are already in Fairfax is very positive."
Mobil's presence will still be felt in Upstate New York, where more than 3,700 people are employed in the Rochester area at Mobil Chemical.
A similar announcement came on March 27, when AT&T; said it was planning to move 1,000 of the 1,300 workers at its headquarters on Madison Avenue to offices in Basking Ridge, N.J. The company said it wanted to rent out the office space made available by the move.