MATTHEW BARAKAT

McLEAN, Va. (AP) ¿ Defense contractor SAIC Inc. announced Thursday that it will move its corporate headquarters from San Diego to the Virginia suburbs.

The headquarters location is primarily driven by a change in the company's corporate leadership ¿ its San Diego-based chief executive, Ken Dahlberg, recently reached the company's mandatory retirement age of 65, and new CEO Walt Haverstein has long ties to the Washington area.

SAIC already has a large presence in the Washington region with nearly 18,000 of its 45,000 employees here. The San Diego office has about 4,500 employees, and only a few dozen will be affected by the headquarters move, said Arnold Punaro, SAIC's executive vice president for Washington operations.

As part of the relocation, SAIC expects to create 1,200 new jobs and invest $25 million to upgrade its 18-acre Tysons Corner campus.

The state and county are providing a $3 million grant upfront and SAIC will be eligible for another $7 million after it expands.

Dahlberg, who spoke at Thursday's formal announcement, said he will stay on the SAIC board as chairman and maintain his San Diego office, and sought to ensure employees there that the SAIC plans to grow its operations there.

SAIC derives about three-fourths of its income from defense contracts. Its annual revenue exceeds $10 billion a year.

The improvements to SAIC's northern Virginia campus coincide with a major redevelopment effort in Tysons Corner, where construction is under way to extend the region's Metrorail system to Dulles International Airport.

(This version CORRECTS Corrects spelling of CEO's name throughout with 'Dahlberg,' sted 'Dahlgren.')

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