Clyde Higgs new EVP at Castle & Cooke, Atlantic American; Jeff Austin out at Club at Irish Creek

Clyde Higgs new EVP at Castle & Cooke, Atlantic American Jeff Austin out at Club at Irish Creek  

May 5. In a press release that did not mention Lynne Scott Safrit, billionaire “David H. Murdock, chairman and chief executive officer of Castle & Cooke North Carolina, LLC and builder and founder of the NC Research Campus, has appointed Clyde Higgs to the position of executive vice president of operations and business development for Castle & Cooke North Carolina, LLC and Atlantic American Properties Inc.”

Safrit was president of Castle & Cooke North Carolina and a leader at the NC Research Campus. Jeff Austin, the long-time general manager of the Club at Irish Creek, a golf course owned by Murdock, has been replaced.

Murdock must be an interesting man to work for. A New York Times profile by Frank Bruni said “In restaurants Murdock will push the butter dish toward the server and say, ‘Take the death off the table.'”

Murdock turned 92 on April 11. Safari, a 33-year employee, announced her resignation April 20. Austin could not be reached for comment.

In his new position, Higgs will direct the daily operations of the NCRC and the Kannapolis-based offices of Castle & Cooke North Carolina and Atlantic American Properties Inc. In charge of NCRC business development since 2006, Higgs recruited partners like General Mills and Carolinas Healthcare System to the campus.

Before joining the NCRC, Higgs directed the technology incubator program at the University of North Texas-Health Science Center, served on the Texas Emerging Technology Fund Board and directed the Office of Technology Transfer & Commercialization at North Carolina A&T State University. He serves on the State Board of Community Colleges, the State Superintendent’s Commission on Workforce Development and is involved with other non-profit and foundation boards.

In the same press release, the marketing department at Atlantic American said “Murdock also promoted Castle & Cooke employees Lauren Kimes to assistant director of operations and Alan Cress to general manager of The Club at Irish Creek.”


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