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Arrow Electronics, largest public company on LI, moves HQ to Colorado

The Arrow Electronics building in Melville (June 3,

The Arrow Electronics building in Melville (June 3, 2004) Photo Credit: Newsday, 2004 / Michael E. Ach

In a psychological blow to Long Island, Arrow Electronics Inc., the area’s largest public company, announced plans Tuesday to move its headquarters from Melville to Colorado.

The supplier of electronic components will keep open its office building on Marcus Drive and doesn’t anticipate layoffs to the workforce there. Arrow’s headquarters will transfer to its Englewood, Colo., facility next month.

“Outside the address change this doesn’t impact any of our operations around the world, including Melville," Arrow spokesman John Hourigan said Tuesday. “New York is still going to play an important part in the company.”

Still, the loss of one of only three area companies to place on Fortune magazine’s list of the 500 largest public companies is a psychological blow to Long Island.

Arrow employs about 550 people in Melville and 1,000 in Englewood. The company has more than 115,000 customers worldwide.

The move comes after  Colorado provided $11.4 million in incentives in return for promises from Arrow to create more than 1,250 jobs in the next five years.

Arrow chief executive Mike Long said, “Our New York operations will continue to play a key role in the company.”

New York State officials said Tuesday they were never given the opportunity to try to keep Arrow’s corporate headquarters.

“We weren’t made aware by Arrow of their intentions . . . we would have made every attempt to provide the company with an incentive package,” said Austin Shafran, a spokesman for Empire State Development Corp.

In 1995, Arrow received $400,000 from the state for its headquarters operation to protect 450 jobs and create another 50. The company fully complied with the agreement, which expired in 1999.

Shafran and others said they weren’t concerned that Arrow's move heralds an exodus of companies from the area. Shafran noted Arrow plans to maintain its current operations in New York State.

Arrow’s announcement comes after several leading technology manufacturers, including IBM and Global Foundries, pledged last month to invest $4.4 billion in New York State. Locally, Cannon is moving its North American headquarters from Nassau to a new building in Melville.

Still, some local business people expressed discouragement about the news. "It is sad news for Long Island because it's an emotional blow," said Anne Shybunko-Moore, the president of GSE Dynamics, a Hauppauge-based defense manufacturer.

“This is just another reminder that New York and Long Island as a region need to really sit down and think about what incentives we need to give our own companies to stay here,” she said. “It’s sad that we need incentives to stay, but the fact of the matter is that it is a competitive market and everyone is looking for where the best fit is for them for managing costs.”

 She said she gets calls regularly from southern companies trying to lure her business there: “We are being courted.”

Arrow reported profits of $479.6 million dollars last year on sales of $18.8 billion. It was the 140th largest company by revenue in the country in the Fortune 500, as ranked by sales.

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