Johannesburg – It is with deep regret that the board of directors ("the board") of Sappi Limited today announced that the CEO of the company, Ralph Boëttger, will be relinquishing his position as CEO and director on 30 June 2014. Ralph, who has been with Sappi as CEO for almost 7 years, has been diagnosed with a serious illness and has taken the decision to step down.
Dr Danie Cronjé, Chairman of the board of Sappi Limited, said: "I personally and on behalf of the board and everyone at Sappi, express our heartfelt thanks to Ralph for the sterling work he has done in leading Sappi through a particularly challenging period in the company's proud history. Under Ralph's leadership the group has been transformed. A clear strategy and sound action plans are in place; the major projects to re-position the group have been successfully completed and are operational, leaving the company in a position for growth into the future.
"A process is in place to identify Ralph's successor and to allow for a timeous and smooth hand-over.
"On behalf of us all I wish Ralph and his family all the very best for the future."
Commenting on his decision, Ralph said: "I deeply regret having to make this decision at this time as I am convinced that Sappi stands on the cusp of a period of strong performance and exciting growth. However, I believe that spending my time with my family has become the priority and that it is in the best interest of the company and of my family for me to step down as announced. I would like to thank Dr Cronjé, the board of Sappi and every single employee for their support and dedication in re-positioning Sappi for a great future."
About Sappi Fine Paper North America
Sappi North America, known for innovation and quality, is a preeminent North American producer of coated fine and release papers, as well as dissolving wood pulp (DWP) and market kraft pulp headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Its coated fine papers, with highly recognized brand names such as McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are used in premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. Its food packaging brand, Lusterprint is a greaseproof product with an excellent print surface. The company is also the world's leading supplier of release papers for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries, including the globally recognized Ultracast brand. Sappi's release papers provide the surface aesthetics for synthetic fabrics used in footwear, clothing, upholstery and accessories, as well as the textures for decorative laminates found in kitchens, baths, flooring and other decorative surfaces. Sappi globally is the world's largest manufacturer of dissolving wood pulp, a versatile raw material for a wide range of products including textile fibers and household products. Sappi North America, through the recent conversion of the Cloquet pulp mill, manufactures dissolving pulp under Sappi's Specialised Cellulose division primarily for the textile markets.
Sappi North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with over 14,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at: www.sappi.com/na.
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