geo_ Have to agree with you that it probably makes sense to make the move from a logistic standpoint. It would/will be a hardship for some staff. For those of you who have never been to Coeur d'Alene it is hard to convey the amenities of living there. I bet the staff didn't have a vote in the decision. Idaho does have an income tax and a move could amount to increased profitability, pending what kind of deal Illinois and Chicago will give the company regarding taxes. The Idaho economy and politics is dominated by the southern part of the state and I don't expect they put up much of a fuss about keeping an international miner in the state.
The logistics of a relocation are always a bit of a nightmare. Who to keep, who to let go, hurt feelings, lifestyle changes, leaving friends behind, adjusting to a new locale, estrangement from family, differences in costs of living, housing decisions, commuting requirements, risk of loss of "institutional knowledge" of those not relocating, the corporate image taking a hit by abandoning a beautiful small city, etc. On top of all that, it takes a lot of time to complete the corporate transition ...... Will likely take a few years before all is settled.
But two of the advantages of relocating Coeur haven't been mentioned here:
Firstly, if I were Krebs, I would want to move. As long as Coeur is in Idaho, it will be perceived as being Wheeler's company. Krebs needs to get out of Wheeler's shadow and become a CEO who is independent of his predecessor.
Secondly, being in Idaho, Coeur has limited access to management talent. Being a billion dollar company now, Coeur has to have access to high quality professionals. As a former executive, I turned down several opportunities in the past because of location -- If the job doesn't work out, who wants to be stranded in a small city in northern Idaho, even if the location is physically beautiful? I suspect Couer is sick and tired of having difficulties in its recruitment efforts in the past year or two.
One can easily criticize Coeur for making Chicago the city of choice -- no natural scenery, higher cost of living, higher crime rates, a city in poor financial condition, higher housing costs, long cold and grey winters, a city of residents with entitlement attitudes, etc. If I were Krebs, I likely would have chosen a different location. BUT, from Chicago, one can go anywhere in the world relatively easily, and there's no shortage of executive talent available.
Two final comments ......... Don't be surprised to see Coeur change its corporate name in a year or two. "Coeur d'Alene Mines" headquartered in Chicago just doesn't make any sense. Maybe they become "Midwest Mining" or something innocuous like that (corporate branding isn't all that important among the major miners, as the products are commodities). Also, while I'm NOT among those who are accusing Mitch Krebs of taking the company to Chicago for the primary reason of helping his wife Debby get back closer to her family, I support the relocation for its long term benefits. The fact that Debby gets closer to family is a secondary benefit. And since I'm of the opinion that Debby is smarter than Mitch, I have to give Mitch some credit for listening to her alleged input.