It didn't happen when BP packed up its people and lab equipment and headed west to Chicago, leaving behind the building that bears its name, still frighteningly vacant several years after the move.
And it didn't happen when BFGoodrich bolted town for warmer weather, abandoning its role as an early player in the polymers revolution, which has only recently been revitalized through the efforts of The University of Akron.
But TRW Inc. has never been like other companies, and the 101-year-old aerospace giant remains in an elite class by opting for higher ground on its way out the door. Last month, TRW donated its 68-acre Lyndhurst headquarters to the Cleveland Clinic, making the announcement one day before the U.S. Justice Department gave the green light to Northrop Grumman's acquisition and two days before TRW shareholders overwhelmingly approved the $7.8 billion deal.
TRW's gift, valued at $60 million, ranks as the largest single contribution in the company's history, the Clinic's second largest gift in its history, and its largest corporate gift ever.
Considered along with TRW's previous sale of the 67 acres being used for development of the $145 million Legacy Village shopping center project, you have one of those rare situations where everyone involved comes out a winner.
The city of Lyndhurst benefits because it can stop worrying about how to replace the $1 million in income and property tax it netted each year from TRW.
The Clinic benefits because it gains ready-to-move-into space that will ease some of the overcrowding problems that plague several of its business, financial and operations units.
And TRW benefits because beyond the tax benefit it will receive, the move preserves its legacy of philanthropy through one last generous act as a pillar of the community.
It begs the simple question: Why can't all corporate community divorces go so smoothly?