Lynne Scott Safrit has resigned as president and chief operating officer of Castle & Cooke, the company developing the NC Research Campus on the former Cannon Mills site in Kannapolis.

Castle & Cooke is owned by Dole Foods chair David Murdock.

In her resignation letter posted on the NC Research Campus News site (, Safrit, who has been with the company 33 years, said she will “be involved as requested by Castle & Cooke in transitioning my responsibilities to others.”

The only reason she gave in the letter was that she wants to spend more time with her family, but the Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday that she also wants to put her new doctorate in public health to work in her next position.

Safit earned a doctorate in public health from UnC Chapel Hill a year ago and began working for Murdock at Cannon Mills, the Kannapolis plant he owned and later sold. The NC Research Campus is located on the former Cannon Mills site.

“The vision and commitment of the North Carolina Research Campus to improve human health through nutrition will change the course of the prevention and treatment of disease now and in the future for people around the globe,” she wrote in the letter.