Nestle USA will relocate its corporate headquarters from Glendale to Arlington County, Va. later this year, the company announced Wednesday.

The food and beverage giant employs more than 51,000 workers nationwide, including 5,500 in California. A Nestle spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Business Journal that of its 1,200 jobs in Glendale, 750 would be transferred to its new headquarters in Arlington County; 300 would move to its Ohio businesses; and the remaining 150 or so would be divided across its various other U.S. facilities, including its Purina headquarters in St. Louis. The company has nine plants in California.

Nestle chief executive Paul Grimwood cited proximity to its customer base as the basis for its decision to relocate; 85 percent of its top customers are in the eastern half of the country.

“Nestle has been innovating and making strategic changes to its businesses over the past five years,” Grimwood said in a prepared statement. “This move is the next step in our evolution.”

The company plans to complete the transition by early 2018.