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MeadWestvaco cuts 100+ local jobs

MeadWestvaco Corporation

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – More than 100 people are losing their jobs at Richmond-based packaging company MeadWestvaco (MWV).

The job cuts started last month and will continue through March, a company spokesman confirmed. The local jobs are among the 550 job cuts MWV is making worldwide.

The layoffs are a cost-cutting move expected to save MWV between $100 and $125 million by the end of 2015.

“We are eager to accelerate our progress and substantially improve our margins and cash flow through a more streamlined and efficient organization and cost structure,” John A. Luke, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of MWV, said in a statement. “We are seeing measurable success with our previously announced cost reduction initiatives, and this new program will further improve our performance in packaging.”

With 881 local full-time employees, MeadWestvaco is the 28th largest employer in Richmond, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

15 comments

  • PC

    Ah, good PR is essential to painting pretty pictures.
    MeadWestvaco is represented on the Board of Venture Richmond.
    It can and does benevolently contribute as an Annual Contributor
    to Venture Richmond..
    PC seems like a Contradiction.

  • M.L. Adams

    “…We are eager to accelerate our progress and substantially improve our margins and cash flow…We are seeing measurable success with our previously announced cost reduction initiatives and this new program will further improve our performance…”

    Ruining the lives of 550 employees, then bragging about what a great job they’ve done by doing so! No doubt the architects of this strategy will be rewarded by huge bonuses!

  • Richard Stutheit

    Business exists to meet the needs of a certain demand , they have an obligation to stay in business an meets budgets to maintain a profit to pays its bills. Otherwise they would have no jobs making even others out of work. Thank lucky stars some in the community are still working. Overall job market is no where near what it was in 2008 inspite the alleged percentage down. Actual unemployment is near 20 percent. Ito keep a company expanding then give it solid financial reasons that will benefit both to keep company growing and hiring staff.

  • Steve

    May want to check your sources actual layoffs in RVA total more like 300. And great news CEO and board get bonus while the workers get no bonus and a kick out the door despite making Wall Street numbers in 2013. Perhaps they need real leadership. Leaders eat last

    • lori tanner

      Even the kept workers are scared and uncomfortable.Who’s next? How much more do I have to give? and probably miss the cut workers as they were a buffer between themselves and unemployment.

  • ...

    MWV announced a while back they wanted to make its 1st billion $’s.
    Well they are on the right track to get that by cutting all these people. NOT!!!!
    It makes no sense laying all these employees off when the company is MAKING money already. I know a person that got laid off from MWV last year and the company turned right around and hired 2 more people to fill that position. Sounds like someone is getting ready to take the money and run…. How does John Luke still eat lunch down in the cafeteria with everyone…?

    The article is not accurate either, the article says 100 + jobs. It needs to say 300 + just from the Richmond, VA location. What about the people that got laid off last year…. no mention of that either, huh? Thats almost 1 out of 3 people in that building.

    Its a shame how this company is being guided today…

    • Bennie

      I believe there is more here than meets the eye. Yes, this was all about cost-cutting (who cares about the people?), but you don’t eviscerate so many (older, higher paid) key employees unless there won’t be a need for them in the near future. Look for a merger on the horizon. Yes, the senior execs will take the money and run!

  • Sissy

    Note the enormous lack of compassion in Luke’s statement for the people in his company that he severed. He put the company in its current state and now is releasing 200 plus people in Richmond to improve profit and cash. There will be an impact to Richmond, to all of these dedicated people, and to MWV. And his statement was about profit and cash. Telling! And there are more to leave next week!

  • Papermaker

    MWV’s layoffs in Richmond are larger than what the PR people are telling the media. As usual, MWV is getting the ‘kid-glove’ treatment from local media because the company donates a lot of money in the downtown Richmond area. About 50 people were terminated in Richmond in 2013 and the current numbers in Richmond are significantly larger than 125 people. This company had some strategies to grow its revenue that have not panned out as well as initially planned. There are still good manufacturing businesses in the company. In 2012 the company made $150 profit and everyone got the bonuses in early 2013. In 2013 the company made $300 million in profit and as a reward for helping the company to double its profit from the previous year, nobody but the most senior executives will get bonuses and hundreds of other workers are getting terminated. I hate to see what they would do if they make $500 million profit this year……

  • mwv employee

    Its really sad, I hear they have laid off people that are months away from full retirement.

    John Luke Sr. must be rolling in his grave right now the way Jr. is running it today

  • former MWV employ

    It is a mediocre company created out of two bad companies being run by fools who spend lavishly on themselves but little on the ones who actually do work. Place is filled with favoritism and led by people who have no idea how to do the job. The boy wonder they brought in and promoted repeatedly has yet to make the company money. There were more effective ways to save money.

  • Unhappy Employee

    A beautiful building and good people don’t make a great company if you have poor senior leadership and that’s exactly what’s going on inside these walls! The dysfunction that takes place in this company is appalling and morale is terrible. The way in which they have handled these layoffs has been atrocious. Employees feel like they’re “getting the ax” every day they go to work and there is very little warning.
    Leadership needs to wake up to the fact that many of the managers are inept and do not deserve to be in their positions because they treat people unfairly and make decisions by favoritism. I have been so disappointed by the CEO and SVP who run the company. People who work hard are not appreciated and those who play the game of politics are rewarded. No respect for this company!

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