AGC glass organizations to be merged

Asahi Glass, the Japanese-based parent of AGC Flat Glass, plans to merge its flat glass and automotive glass organizations under one umbrella to help boost profitability.

Chris Correnti, AGC vice president, general counsel and secretary, said the newly combined organization will be headed by AGC President Brad Kitterman and will be headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga.The automotive glass business was previously based in Ohio.

“We’re trying to create greater synergies and efficiencies and take advantage of some of the best practices we might have on both sides of the organization, and hopefully improve profitability in the short term and long term,” Correnti said.

“It makes more sense to have it all under one roof and one operational responsibility.”

AGC employs about 500 people at its glass plants in Kingsport and Church Hill. Asked if the merger will affect local jobs, Correnti said the company has no plans for layoffs at this time, but he acknowledged that some folks might be concerned.

“I think some of those rumors are because of the integration. People are thinking there’s going to be some layoffs coming from that, and there might be in some part of the organization. But where that is and how it’s going to happen - there’s nothing decided yet,” Correnti said.

“But we think it’s going to be good for our Kingsport services group. ... As far as the total company in North America, there might be some more layoffs, but it shouldn’t impact our plants here because they’re not in the automotive side of the business.”

Correnti said business has actually picked up somewhat for the Kingsport operations.

The company recently restarted its tempering line here and recalled about 30 of the 100 people who had been laid off.

“We haven’t been able to bring them all back because we don’t have the demand to support full shifts, but there have been some people called back,” Correnti said.

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600450 AGC glass organizations to be merged
Date: 25 May 2009

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