Since joining AFG in May, Kitterman has not purchased a home here, but has continued to live in Atlanta with his family and commute to Kingsport.On Friday, he said the decision to move AFG's headquarters is not about him."If I was making the move for my own personal benefit, I shouldn't be in the position I'm in," Kitterman said. "My goal and my objective is to make this company successful, and the things that I do have to be in alignment with that."
Kitterman said the executive offices need to be separate from the daily activities of the company.
AFG is the second-largest float glass manufacturer in North America and employs 4,700 people across the country, including 1,200 at its facilities in Kingsport and Hawkins County. The company traces its roots in Kingsport back to the 1920s.
"It's a big company. It's been here for a very long time. A lot of the people have been involved with it for a very long time. The habits are fairly deeply engrained - the way we do business, the way we think about the business, the way we think about managing the people," Kitterman said. "This (move) to me is one of many tools that I will have to employ to try to break that and start fresh to build a more dynamic organization going forward."
He said it wasn't a question of Atlanta being able to offer more than the Tri-Cities. But he admitted Atlanta does provide some conveniences for international business travel. AFG is owned by Asahi Glass of Tokyo, and Asahi's flat glass headquarters is located in Brussels. Visitors from Tokyo and Brussels could fly directly into Atlanta to AFG's North American headquarters.
"But that's not the main reason," Kitterman said.
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