on the move

Petrochemical juggernaut ExxonMobil gasses up for big HQ move to Houston

Behold ExxonMobil's new Houston HQ. Image via ExxonMobil.com

One of the biggest petrochemical giants on the planet is moving its operations to the Houston area. ExxonMobil announced that it is moving its corporate headquarters from Dallas-Fort Worth/Irving to its campus in Greater Houston.

The company expects the transfer, which will combine its chemical and refining divisions, to be completed by 2023. ExxonMobil’s HQ will no longer be the tree-lined “God Pod” complex in Irving, but rather the shimmering, glass-lined compound in Spring, which former CEO Rex Tillerson opened in 2014. Some 250 people currently work at the Irving location, including the CEO and management committee, an ExxonMobil rep tells CultureMap.

Bloomberg reports the move is mostly aimed at cutting costs; the company estimates $6 billion in savings by moving to Greater Houston and combining divisions. ExxonMobil will also reorganize along three business lines: upstream, product solutions, and low-carbon division, per a statement.

In a statement provided to CultureMap, the company adds that the move “will enhance collaboration and provide more opportunities to share expertise across the entire corporation as part of our strategy to better leverage corporate advantages to grow shareholder value.”

With its big relocation, ExxonMobil becomes Houston’s 25th Fortune 500 headquarters, the third highest concentration in the country, after New York and Chicago, per the Greater Houston Partnership. It will be the largest Fortune 500 company to be headquartered in the Houston region, ranking No. 10 in the 2021 listing based on $181.5 billion revenues in 2020.

“We are thrilled with today’s news,” the Greater Houston Partnership noted in a statement. “ExxonMobil’s move further solidifies Houston’s position as the Energy Capital of the World. ExxonMobil is a key participant in our Houston Energy Transition Initiative, and we look forward to working with the company as we continue to position Houston to lead the energy transition to a low-carbon future.

“In addition, ExxonMobil’s announcement represents the third Fortune 500 headquarters announcement in greater Houston in 13 months, solidifying our position as the No. 3 Fortune 500 headquarters city in the nation.”

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Madison Long of Clutch, Ty Audronis of Tempest Droneworx, and Juliana Garaizar of Greentown Labs. Photos courtesy

Editor's note: In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from drones to energy tech— recently making headlines in Houston innovation.


Madison Long, co-founder and CEO of Clutch

Madison Long joins the Houston Innovators Podcast to discuss Clutch's recent national launch and the role Houston played in the company's success. Photo courtesy of Clutch

Houston-based creator economy platform Clutch — founded by CEO Madison Long and CTO Simone May — celebrated its nationwide launch earlier this month. The platform connects brands to its network of creators for reliable and authentic work — everything from social media management, video creation, video editing, content creation, graphic design projects, and more.

When the company first launched its beta in Houston, the platform (then called Campus Concierge) rolled out at three Houston-area universities: Texas Southern University, Rice University, and Prairie View A&M. The marketplace connected any students with a side hustle to anyone on campus who needed their services.

Long shares on this week's Houston Innovators Podcast that since that initial pilot, they learned they could be doing more for users.

"We recognized a bigger gap in the market," Long says. "Instead of just working with college-age students and finding them side hustles with one another, we pivoted last January to be able to help these young people get part-time, freelance, or remote work in the creator economy for businesses and emerging brands that are looking for these young minds to help with their digital marketing presence." Read more and listen to the episode.

Ty Audronis, co-founder of Tempest Droneworks

Dana Abramowitz and Ty Audronis co-founded Tempest Droneworks. Photo courtesy of Tempest Droneworx

Ty Audronis, fueled by wanting to move the needle on wildfire prevention, wanted to upgrade existing processes with real-time, three-dimensional, multi-spectral mapping, which exactly where his company, Tempest Droneworx, comes in.

That software is called Harbinger. Audronis explains that the real-time management and visualization solution is viewable on practically any device, including mobile or augmented reality. The system uses a video game engine for viewing, but as Audronis puts it, “the magic happens” on the back end.

The company was just the two founders until five weeks ago, when Tempest’s size doubled, including a full-time developer. Once Tempest receives its SIBR check, the team will grow again to include more developers. They are currently looking for offices in the city. As Audronis says, Tempest Droneworx is “100-percent made in Houston.” Read more.

Juliana Garaizar, chief development and investment officer and head of Houston incubator of Greentown Labs

Juliana Garaizar is now the chief development and investment officer at Greentown Labs, as well as continuing to be head of the Houston incubator. Image courtesy of Greentown

Greentown Labs named a new member to its C-suite. Juliana Garaizar, who originally joined Greentown as launch director ahead of the Houston opening in 2021, has been promoted from vice president of innovation to chief development and investment officer.

"I'm refocusing on the Greentown Labs level in a development role, which means fundraising for both locations and potentially new ones," Garaizar tells InnovationMap. "My role is not only development, but also investment. That's something I'm very glad to be pursuing with my investment hat. Access to capital is key for all our members, and I'm going to be in charge of refining and upgrading our investment program."

While she will also maintain her role as head of the Houston incubator, Greentown Houston is also hiring a general manager position to oversee day-to-day and internal operations of the hub. Garaizar says this role will take some of the internal-facing responsibilities off of her plate. Read more.

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