Tom Pierce


  • Born in Nashville, TN
  • Raised in a small southern town, Franklin, KY
  • Went to Georgia Tech in 1956
    • co-op plan majoring in chemical engineering

Work History

After working for several years for Burlington Industries in manufacturing, Anne and he got married and he started on an MBA degree – the first year at U.Va, graduating in 1966 from UNC in Chapel Hill.

After grad school we went to Tennessee Eastman in Kingsport, TN, where I worked in the field of finance for five years.

Coming to RJR

I came to RJR Archer in 1973 and remained in finance ever since then. In 1985 I was transferred to RJRT finance working for Dave Sheets and Joe Gangloff. In 1991 I was promoted to vice president and reported to Dave Anderson. In 1996 I was transferred to RJR Nabisco in New York City in Mergers and Acquisitions.

Leaving RJR

I remained there until the Company sold off RJR Tobacco International and spun off RJR Tobacco in May- July 1999. As a side note the NYC office had a closing down party at The Tavern on the Green until the early morning hours!

After RJR

Two months later in September, 1999 I accepted a position at Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company in Hickory, NC as CFO, Executive VP, and Board member. After four years I resigned from the CFO position but stayed on the board. In 2008 the Board Chairman and son of the founder resigned, and I was elected to Board Chairman where I remained for four years. Hickory Springs had 3,500 employees, over 60 manufacturing plants in 16 U.S. states plus China and Italy. They were an excellent company, but the industry fell upon hard times in recent years.

During my years in New York, I was elected to the Georgia Tech Alumni Board of Trustees, awarded the RJRN Chairman’s award, obtained three accounting certificates CPA, CMA and CFM.

Anne and I have recently moved from our home in Bermuda Run, near Winston-Salem to Charlotte where we reside at The Cypress of Charlotte, a retirement community, near our daughter.

Tom and I met while he was at Archer, the company that I had recently left.  I followed his successful career at RJR, and we had dinner in New York post-LBO when we were both living there.  His description of the sale of Tobacco International to Japan Tobacco shed light on how intense such auctions are. GAH.