How Wall Road drove the Maine paper business’s collapse

Editor’s be aware: This story was initially printed in January 2021.

In 1994, Al Dunlap took over as CEO of Scott Paper, which owned paper mills in Winslow, Skowhegan and Westbrook. Nicknamed “Chainsaw” due to his ruthless method to slicing jobs, Dunlap created $6.3 billion for the corporate’s shareholders and netted $120 million for himself in simply two years on the job.

However “success for shareholders meant devastation for staff and communities,” wrote College of Southern Maine economics professor Michael Hillard in his historical past of the Maine paper business, “Shredding Paper: The Rise and Fall of Maine’s Mighty Paper Trade.”