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Playboy Prepares To Leave Chicago Behind

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Playboy corporate headquarters in Chicago (Credit: CBS)

Playboy corporate headquarters in Chicago (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The news has been out for a while that Playboy Enterprises is on its way out of Chicago, but now, a firm date is in place.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports, Playboy will officially shutter its headquarters at 680 N. Lake Shore Dr. on April 30, and move the last of its remaining 170 Chicago employees to Los Angeles.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports

The transition has been underway over the past year, with most of the Playboy employee base already in Los Angeles. Among those already there are chief executive officer Scott Flanders, and his entire executive team.

Earlier, Playboy said its plan was to move the bulk of its staff to Los Angeles, but retain some departments in Chicago. But last week, Playboy announced it had decided to close its Chicago headquarters altogether.

Hugh Hefner founded Playboy in Chicago in 1953, and produced the first issue in the kitchen of his Hyde Park neighborhood home. He went on to turn the publication and its nude models and centerfolds into a cultural mainstay.

From 1965 to 1989, Playboy was headquartered what is now again called the Palmolive Building – 919 N. Michigan Ave. – which advertised the magazine’s presence with 9-foot illuminated letters at the roofline.

Since 1989, Playboy has leased space in Streeterville at the 680 N. Lake Shore Dr. building, originally called the American Furniture Mart and now named Lake Shore Place.

Playboy joins Aon in announcing plans to move its headquarters out of Chicago. The insurance giant is moving its corporate headquarters to London, but plans to retain its headquarters for the Americas in Chicago, and has said no jobs will be lost locally.

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