People in the heart of Illinois are still in shock this morning after the news that Caterpillar will move its world headquarters to Chicago.

The new offices will be home to 300 executives.

And while cat says 12-thousand employees will stay in Peoria, the company also said less than two years ago that it would build a new headquarters here in Peoria.

The news broke around eight yesterday morning.

The new CEO, Jim Umpleby, says it's all about convenience.

Downtown Peoria has been home for Caterpillar for 91 years.  That's changing soon.  Caterpillar will relocate headquarters and 300 of its top level managers to the Chicago area.

"About two thirds of our sales from the last 5 years on average are outside of the U.S.  That's where we have to focus on getting there faster and more frequently, more easily so that's a driving factor,” said Caterpillar spokeswoman Rachel Potts.

Caterpillar last saw a peak in sales and revenue in 2012 at $66 billion. Cat expects to make about $37.5 billion for this year, about 40 percent less.

In September of 2015 Caterpillar announced plans for global restructuring that resulted in layoffs world-wide of 10,000 people.

The Caterpillar modernization project for downtown Peoria has now been scrapped.

"This downturn has been incredibly painful for Cat, we've lost a lot of friends and colleagues.  Our focus is on how we can turn that around and get growing again,” said Potts.

Cat's other plants throughout the heart of Illinois are not expected to be affected.

We asked for an interview with Umpleby yesterday, but he wasn't available for comment. 

Potts says the company still does not know where it will exactly relocate its headquarters, but expects to lease for a while.