Bernhard worried about employees as Shaw sale closes Wednesday
Baton Rouge will lose its only Fortune 500 company this week, when the $3 billion sale of The Shaw Group to CB&I closes. And as Shaw Group founder and CEO Jim Bernhard packs up his office today, he tells Daily Report he is concerned about the future for many of the company's employees. "Folks at Shaw are very concerned, which is normal," Bernhard says, adding that CB&I has done little to assuage worries about employees' job security. "Communications with the new company could have been better. Hopefully, that will improve as they move forward." The sale of Shaw to CB&I, a Netherlands-based corporation with U.S. headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas, is slated to close Wednesday. Bernhard says he hopes many local employees will be given the opportunity to remain with the new company, which will use the CB&I name. "I hope a lot of them remain on the team," he says. Bernhard and several other top executives cashed out their stock in the company late last year, and many from the executive suite have already relocated to Texas. As Bernhard looks to the future, he says he is committed to Louisiana and to making a positive difference in the Baton Rouge community. Though Bernhard confirmed last week that he's in the running for the position of U.S. Energy Secretary, he was noncommittal today about his interest in the Cabinet post. "My priority is Louisiana," he says. "I'm Baton Rouge committed. I suspect that will continue." Bernhard was recently announced as the 2013 Business Hall of Fame Laureate by Business Report and Junior Achievement. —Stephanie Riegel
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