WICHITA — Robert Marcovitch, the new president and CEO of the Coleman Co., doesn’t characterize the relocation of 25 key executives from Wichita to the Denver area as moving the company’s headquarters.
“Well, I think Coleman’s headquarters is in the United States of America if you ask me. I think on the global scale.”
That’s not how Wichitans are taking the news, though.
At a 3 p.m. news conference, city leaders expressed surprise and dismay at the move.
“I’m not happy,” Mayor Carl Brewer said. “I’m not happy any time we lose jobs in Wichita.”
Coleman notified the city this morning around the same time it told employees of the news.
“I had a nice conversation with the mayor,” Marcovitch said. “Of course, I think it’s very appropriate that he be made aware of it.”
In the brief conversation, Marcovitch said, “I didn’t talk about headquarters, and I know some people have characterized it that way.”
He said, “We’re moving a number of offices and decentralizing some of our offices to Colorado.”
That includes sales, marketing and creative services such as graphic design work. It also includes financial support.
However, accounting, technology and human resources will remain in Wichita.
The majority of Coleman’s 800 Wichita workers won’t be affected.
Coleman has more than 1,000 workers in Kansas out of about 3,000 worldwide.
Coleman, which was founded in Wichita in 1901, has manufacturing, distribution, marketing and sales operations in 20 countries.
In an initial release to The Eagle today, Coleman said the company also is investing in its Wichita and New Braunfels, Texas, facilities with a multimillion dollar capital initiative.
That won’t be in the form of additions or expansions, though.
“Really, it’s along the lines of product development,” Marcovitch said.