EUROPE – Billerud’s board has announced that the company’s President and CEO Christoph Michalski is leaving the CEO role, with immediate effect.

The board of Billerud has appointed the current CFO and deputy CEO, Ivar Vatne, as acting CEO.

Ivar Vatne joined the company as CFO in May 2019 and has also been deputy CEO since October 2022. Before Billerud, Ivar has a background from senior positions within Arla, Fiskars and P&G.

Jan Svensson, chairman of the board in Billerud said: “The board is confident that Ivar Vatne can quickly step into the role of acting CEO and that he can lead the implementation of our established strategy”, says

“The board would like to thank Christoph Michalski for his significant contribution to Billerud.

“In the three years he has led the company together with the CFO, the company has introduced a new strategy, laid the foundation for a future Norwegian BCTMP factory in close cooperation with Viken Skog, and completed the strategically vital acquisition of Verso in North America.”

Paper Excellence Group names new management team

The Paper Excellence Group has announced its updated organizational structure for its business units following the recent acquisitions of Resolute Forest Products in March 2023 and Domtar in November 2021.

Steve Henry, currently Domtar’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, has been named President of the Paper & Packaging business unit with responsibility for all legacy Domtar pulp, paper and packaging operations as well as Paper Excellence Canada’s Port Alberni and Crofton mills.

Mr. Henry is an experienced pulp and paper executive with 28 years of industry expertise. His career has spanned diverse roles in strategy, project management, and general management in corporate and mill environments.

Prior to joining Domtar, Mr. Henry held a series of progressive positions with International Paper, Weyerhaeuser and Georgia-Pacific.

The leader of the Pulp & Tissue business unit consisting of all legacy Resolute pulp, paper and tissue operations as well as the non-integrated Paper Excellence Canada pulp mills will be announced later.

Meanwhile, Richard Tremblay will continue to serve as Senior Vice President, pulp, paper and tissue operations, and John Lafave serving as Senior Vice President, pulp and tissue sales.

Mr. Tremblay and Mr. Lafave will serve as co-leaders of the business unit until a permanent leader is named.

Hugues Simon will continue to serve as President of the Wood Products business unit. Mr. Simon has extensive experience in wood products operations, finance and sales with Resolute and its predecessor companies.

Steve Henry, Richard Tremblay, John Lafave and Hugues Simon will report to the Paper Excellence management board, chaired by Non-Executive Chairman John Williams, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Domtar.

Resolute’s Remi G. Lalonde, President and CEO; Sylvain A. Girard, Senior Vice President and CFO; and Stephanie Leclaire, Senior Vice President, corporate affairs and Chief Legal Officer, have decided to leave the organization on September 1, 2023, to pursue other interests.

Messrs. Lalonde and Girard and Ms. Leclaire will receive change-in-control payments and benefits under their respective agreements with Resolute.

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