Weight Watchers to Close Orange Office

Weight Watchers Food Co., a division of H.J. Heinz Co., said Monday that it will close its Orange executive offices as part of the company's ongoing efforts at cost cutting.

All 100 Orange County-based corporate employees were offered positions with the company in offices either in Pittsburgh or Connecticut. So far, 15 employees have indicated they plan to make the move east with the company. The other 85 have several more months to decide whether they will transfer with their jobs or accept a severance package.

Weight Watchers' regional offices in Orange, on Town and Country Avenue, were formerly the headquarters of All American Gourmet. Heinz acquired All American, the maker of Budget Gourmet frozen foods, in October, 1994, for nearly $200 million. At that time, All American employees became employees of Heinz's Weight Watchers division.

The operation of All American is now being integrated into Weight Watchers to cut costs, according to a company spokesman. Though Weight Watchers trimmed its corporate staff by 88 last year, the company said there would be no layoffs associated with the current round of cuts.

Weight Watchers will move to a new headquarters in Connecticut. A specific location in Connecticut has not been selected. A spokesman said the moves will be complete by July.

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