Fifty years after it was founded and two and a half after it moved to Simi Valley, the drone developer and manufacturer AeroVironment is moving its headquarters to Arlington, Virginia, effective immediately.
The company made the announcement with an early morning news release on June 15.
“The greater Washington D.C. area is where many of our key customers are located, and expanding our presence in the region will further our access to decision makers, influencers and talent,” AeroVironment CEO Wahid Nawabi said in the news release.
AeroVironment said it plans to maintain its existing operations in Ventura County. The company has 915 employees, 746 of them in Simi Valley or Moorpark.
AeroVironment was founded in 1971, and in 2018 it moved its headquarters from Monrovia to Simi Valley. By the time AeroVironment made that move, it had around 600 employees already working at a few sites in Simi Valley and Moorpark.
AeroVironment was the only publicly traded company based in Simi Valley, and, with a market capitalization of around $2.8 billion, the 10th-largest in the tri-county region.
In its most recent fiscal year, 2019-2020, it had $367 million in revenue, up 17% from the previous year. For the quarter ended Jan. 30, 2021, the company had net income of $258,000, or 1 cent per share, up from a loss of $1 million in the same quarter a year before.
AeroVironment has been on a bit of a buying spree recently, including the $405 million purchase of Arcturus UAV, another drone company, which closed in February. It has also been a major part of the current Mars expedition — the Perseverance rover carries a drone helicopter called Ingenuity, which was designed and built by AeroVironment in Simi Valley.
AeroVironment shares opened at $113.89 on June 15 and were virtually unchanged after the announcement of the headquarters move, rising less than 1% in morning trading.
Editor’s note: This article was updated to include the number of employees AeroVironment has worldwide and in Ventura County.