Sealed Air Corp. has a tagline that reads: “Re-imagine.”
And that’s certainly what CEO Jerome Peribere has done in his relatively short time as leader of the packaging, cushioning and cleaning and hygiene products firm.
Sealed Air shook the ground last week by announcing plans to relocate its headquarters from Elmwood Park, N.J., to Charlotte, N.C., in a move that will consolidate leadership, research and development facilities and corporate offices for the parent firm as well as subsidiaries Cryovac and Diversey.
The company, best known for its Bubble Wrap brand, is relocating nearly 1,300 jobs in the process, primarily from six different locations in four states. The goal is to have these people working at a single campus to create what Peribere described as a stronger, one-company culture.
That means pulling headquarters people from New Jersey, Diversey people from Wisconsin and Cryovac people from South Carolina to the new headquarters
Sealed Air even has a name for the new approach: One Roof.
“One Roof becomes a mile marker in the vision of one company all focused on the same mission and vision,” company spokesman Ken Aurichio said.
Manufacturing locations are not impacted by the move, which will take place during the next three years.
Peribere, appointed CEO in March 2013, sees the move as a way to create what he calls a “great environment” and allow the company to grow, according to a company statement. “This move will contribute to a stronger, one-company culture that will enable greater collaboration, efficiencies, and better use of our investments in people and new technologies.”
But while North Carolina smiles at attracting all of those well-paying jobs, other parts of the country will see those same positions exit.
The move of the $7.7 billion company to Charlotte will include “all or part” of locations in Saddle Brook, N.J., Danbury, Conn.; Racine, Wis.; and Duncan and Greenville, S.C. A small number of employees from other locations also will make the move.
Sealed Air expects to spend $58 million on a long-term lease with a developer that will construct the new headquarters campus. While construction is taking place, the company plans to temporarily lease space to allow employees to begin consolidating as soon as next year.
“This was a very thoughtful process that the company went through. And the decision on Charlotte was really based on an equal weighing of what’s good for our business and what’s good for our employees,” Aurichio said.
While some employees will embrace the change, others will decide to pass on the opportunity to relocate.
“The best we can let them know is they have a great opportunity with Sealed Air. We had our employees in mind when we picked Charlotte because not only is it a good climate for our headquarters, it is a family friendly place and a good place to raise a family,” Aurichio said.
Sealed Air has not settled on a final location where the headquarters will be located, but the company wanted to get the news out as soon as possible, the spokesman said.
“We do recognize, of course, some people their roots are tied where they are and they will not come. But we’re trying to give them the biggest event horizon as we can to find other opportunities,” he said.
Employees who decide not to make the move will be given support to find other job opportunities when the time comes.
“We’re trying to give employees as much advance notice as possible. Some of them will be asked to move eight to 12 months from now. Some of them two years from now,” he said.
The company is in line to receive tens of millions of dollars in grants to make the move. That will be in the form of 12 annual grants equal to 55 percent of the state personal income tax withholdings from eligible new jobs. That award could total $36.7 million over 12 years for the 1,262 jobs, North Carolina officials said.
“I think since Jerome has taken over the company and has implemented some new strategies and we’ve seen a lot of success, our company is becoming more and more change ready,” Aurichio said. “Our employees see change as a constant rather than an event.”