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STATEWIDE Triad Region

Vaporizing jobs

 
When London-based The Financial Times reported in March that Reynolds American had enlisted New York-based investment bank Lazard to explore buying Lorillard, fears mounted that a consolidation could slash the tobacco manufacturers’ Triad employment. Lorillard employs about 1,900 at its headquarters and plant in Greensboro, while Reynolds has an estimated 2,200 at its Winston-Salem headquarters and Tobaccoville plant. A merger could lead to hundreds of duplicate jobs cut, Wells Fargo Securities analyst Bonnie Herzog told the Winston-Salem Journal. Lorillard is attractive because its Newport brand is the No. 2 seller and No. 1 menthol cigarette in the U.S., while its blu eCigs brand, acquired in 2012 (cover story, March 2013), has a 47% share of the electronic-cigarette market. But there’s a big hurdle: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration may ban menthols, which anti-smoking advocates say are popular with young smokers who prefer a less harsh flavor. London-based British American Tobacco — Reynolds’ largest shareholder, with a 42% stake — would need to approve an acquisition, and it may wait until the FDA makes its decision.

 

 

 

 

Briefs

HIGH POINT — Bannockburn, Ill.-based APAC Customer Services will add 500 jobs by July at its call center here to provide customer service for an unnamed telecommunications company. APAC is owned by Plano, Texas-based Expert Global Solutions, which is owned by the private-equity arm of New York-based JPMorgan Chase.

HIGH POINT — St. Louis-based Heritage Home Group will close its Pearson Co. furniture plant here by Aug. 30 and will let go all 86 employees. It is the third plant closing in North Carolina announced this year by Heritage Home, which bought the assets of St. Louis-based Furniture Brands International out of bankruptcy last year.

LEXINGTON — William “Bill” James became president of 94-bed Wake Forest Baptist Health-Lexington Medical Center April 21. The president and CEO of 133-bed Northern Hospital of Surry County in Mount Airy since 1995, he succeeds Steven Snelgrove, who became president of Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, Md.

HIGH POINTHigh Point Regional Health named Ernie Bovio president and CEO, starting this month. He comes from Dallas-based Baylor, Scott & White Health, where he oversaw three hospitals and 22 clinics. He replaces Jeff Miller, who retired March 31 after 26 years with the hospital.

WINSTON-SALEMWake Forest Baptist Medical Center named Michael Rutherford chief financial officer. He held the same position at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University and succeeds Edward Chadwick, who was CFO for five years.