One of Western North Carolina's largest employers is moving its home office to Memphis and will lose its top executive and financial officer, according to a company memo to workers.
Richard Lozyniak, Blue Ridge Paper Products chief executive, will step down at the end of the week after declining to follow the company to Tennessee, according to an internal memo Friday. Advertisement
John Wadsworth, chief financial officer, is staying on for an undisclosed amount of time to help with the transition but will also leave.
The memo does not mention job changes beyond the management level.
Mark Clasby, director of the Haywood County Economic Development Commission, said the headquarters move won't hurt the local economy because "theres not that many people involved in the home office."
New Zealand-based Rank Group bought Blue Ridge for $338 million in a deal that closed July 31.
The company owns Evergreen Packaging in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and plans to merge the two businesses into a new company called Evergreen Packaging Group, which will be headquartered in Memphis.
Evergreen Packaging has 1,150 workers, according to the Pine Bluff Chamber of Commerce. Blue Ridge employs about 1,300 people at its Canton mill and a finishing plant in Waynesville.
Clasby said it's too early to tell what the merger will mean for local jobs.
"In any merger there is always consolidation," he said. "We really dont know at this point."