TAPPI Over The Wire Paper 360
Past Issues | Printer Friendly | TAPPI.org | Advertise | Buyers Guide | Travels with Larry Archive FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Verso to Restructure into Graphic and Specialty Paper Units, Relocate Headquarters to Ohio

Print Print this Article | Send to Colleague

Verso Corp., Memphis, Tenn., USA, this week announced three strategic initiatives designed to drive increased efficiency in the allocation of its resources, reduce the company's cost of doing business, and improve Verso's operating and financial performance.

As part of its comprehensive strategy to position the company for success in a challenging industry, Verso plans to organize its business into two strategic business units—graphic paper and specialty paper, consolidate its corporate offices in Memphis and Miamisburg, Ohio, into a single headquarters to be located in Miamisburg, and improve the delivery of its support services with the objective of reducing overhead expenses by at least 10% on an annual basis. Planning for each of these initiatives is underway, with implementation set to begin in January 2017.

"We expect that the strategic initiatives announced today will enable Verso to be more agile in adapting to an evolving marketplace, more responsive to our customers, more efficient and cost-effective in our operations, and ultimately more financially successful," said Robert M. Amen, Verso's chairman of the board.

The strategic organization of Verso's business into graphic paper and specialty paper business units is intended to provide greater focus, responsiveness, and accountability. Each business unit will develop and implement strategies for responding to the specific market conditions and unique customer requirements of its business segment. Each business unit will operate in a semi autonomous manner and will be responsible for its own revenues, costs, and profitability. Both business units will receive overall strategic direction from Verso's Board of Directors and CEO, and will be supported by a centralized administrative staff.

Verso's graphic paper business unit will be led by Michael A. Weinhold, and its specialty paper business unit will be led by Jason J. Handel. Both Weinhold and Handel are seasoned executives at Verso with extensive backgrounds and experience in the businesses they will oversee. Currently, Weinhold serves as SVP of sales, marketing, and product development, while Handel serves as group VP of technical sales and product development. In the new organization, Weinhold and Handel each will have the title of president of the business unit that he leads and will report directly to Verso's CEO.

"The strategic business unit organization will further strengthen Verso's relationships with our graphic paper and specialty paper customers by allowing us to focus more closely on their distinctive business needs," said Weinhold. "Our ultimate goal is to help our customers be more successful by meeting, and exceeding, their expectations," Handel added. "If we can achieve these results while consistently maximizing Verso's manufacturing efficiency and cost effectiveness, we will make great strides toward enhancing Verso's profitability and success for a long time to come."

The planned consolidation of the Memphis and Miamisburg corporate offices reflects a common-sense approach to organizing and locating Verso's support functions. Verso has about 60 employees in Memphis and more than 200 employees in Miamisburg, resulting in considerable redundancy and inefficiency. Consolidating these employees in a single location not only will reduce costs and improve efficiency, but also will strengthen the performance of Verso's corporate staff by fostering increased familiarity, better communication, closer camaraderie, and other benefits that naturally occur when people work together.

"We understand that the planned consolidation of Verso's corporate offices will cause disruption in the lives of the Memphis office employees who make the move to Miamisburg and will create additional challenges for those who do not," said Kenneth D. Sawyer, Verso's SVP of Human Resources and Communications. "Verso is committed to treating all of our Memphis office employees with fairness, dignity, and respect and to quickly communicating openly and honestly with each person about how this decision will affect him or her. Verso's departmental heads and human resources team will begin meeting with our employees in the very near future."

Verso has established a goal to reduce its overhead expenses by at least 10% compared with 2016. This objective is predicated on the belief that there are ways to reduce the cost of delivering the services that support Verso's business while preserving or even improving the quality of such services. Verso intends to approach the overhead expense reduction project openly, objectively, and with the singular, overarching goal of obtaining the best possible results for the company as a whole.

Since Verso completed its reorganization in July, management has been reviewing, benchmarking, and analyzing the existing framework for the delivery of support services and has begun identifying ways that overhead expenses could be reduced. Verso will leverage both internal and external resources to develop a comprehensive approach to making its support services more efficient and cost-effective. Verso expects to implement the changes necessary to achieve the overhead expense savings in 2017 and to realize such savings over the course of 2017 and 2018.

"Given the significant headwinds facing our industry, Verso simply cannot afford to stand still when it comes to driving cost out of our business," said Allen J. Campbell, Verso's SVP and CFO. "We must constantly renew our focus on and commitment to efficiency and cost-effectiveness, whether at the mills, in the field, or at corporate. This overhead expense reduction project is both a challenge and a necessity if we are to ensure Verso's long-term profitability and viability."


Back to TAPPI: Over The Wire

Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn