The PPI Award for Global CEO of the Year recognizes those chief executives who have led their companies to outstanding achievements. Although it is an individual award, the accomplishments of these nominees and their companies would not be possible without an entire team effort committed to a long-term strategy.
Leading up to this year's PPI Awards banquet in Brussels, we have reviewed the companies, products, mills and people that comprise the best of the pulp and paper industry. We have covered thePromotional Campaigns of the Year, theMill Manager of the Year Award, theEfficiency Improvements of the Year Award, theEnvironmental Strategy of the Year Award, theInnovative Product of the Year Award, theBusiness Strategy Award, and theWater Efficiency Award.
Global CEO of the Year
Antonio Maciel Neto, CEO, Suzano - Brazil
Antonio Maciel Neto, CEO of Suzano, has won the RISI Latin Amerian CEO of the Year award twice in the past, in 2009 and 2010, and he was a close contender for the prize in 2011. Mr. Neto was also shortlisted for the RISI Global CEO of the Year award last year. Praised for this strategic leadership of Suzano, his long-term plan includes investments in bioenergy, diversifying the company's portfolio and providing strong financial management. Mr. Neto leads a company that has operated in the pulp and paper industry for over 85 years and is one of the largest vertically integrated pulp and paper producers in Latin America. With global operations in roughly 80 countries, Suzano provides eucalyptus pulp, coated and uncoated printing and writing paper, and paperboard. As of 2015, the company will increase production from the current 2.9 million tons/year to 7.2 million tons/year by constructing three new industrial plants.
David Hathorn, CEO, Mondi - South Africa/UK
David Hathorn is the global CEO of Mondi. Presiding over a company that leads the industry in financial strength and sustainability, Mr. Hathorn has placed Mondi in an advantageous position to grow. The company's strong performance since the global recession seems to validate Mr. Hathorn's overall strategy and offered a firm foundation to complete several restructuring programs. As a result, Mondi is well positioned to the high-growth emerging markets of eastern Europe, Russia and South Africa. Making great strides on the environmental front, Mondi's employees and mills virtually swept the board of environmental achievements at the 2010 RISI PPI Awards. Emphasizing Mr. Hathorn's focus on sustainability, Mondi was rated number one in the 2010 launch of the WWF Paper Company Index, as well as being awarded "best performer in Basic Materials category" for the Forest Footprint Disclosure Project, a new initiative created to help investors identify impacts on deforestation.
James Rubright, Chairman and CEO, RockTenn - USA
As chairman and CEO, Jim Rubright has taken RockTenn from a medium-sized player to a global force. Leading the acquisition of Smurfit-Stone earlier this year, a move applauded by analysts, Mr. Rubright has made the company one of North America's leading manufacturers of paperboard, containerboard, consumer and corrugated packaging and merchandising displays. At the helm since 1999, Mr. Rubright's background as a lawyer and an astute businessman has resulted in some shrewd business moves while maintaining a low-cost position in the marketplace. Annual net sales for the company are expected to exceed $10 billion next year. Recently named RISI North American CEO of the Year for 2011, Mr. Rubright won the same award in 2007 when he was also named the Global CEO of the Year.
Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO, UPM
Jussi Pesonen was recently named the RISI European CEO of the Year for 2011, the second time he won the award. Mr. Pesonen championed UPM's recent acquisition of Myllykoski, which added 2.8 million tons of paper production capacity and a stake in a Finnish energy company. When Mr. Pesonen was first named CEO, he steered the company through an internal restructuring, and then announced his commitment to highlighting energy and pulp as market driven growth businesses instead of being just supplies to the paper business. UPM now leads the integration of the bio and forest industries, but has not abandoned traditional markets. Recognized as one of the world's largest and most respected forest products companies, Mr. Pesonen is determined to implement a long-term strategy for UPM of being the cost leader of the European paper industry. Mr. Pesonen is also the vice chairman of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) and the Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF).
Paul Herbert, CEO, Ilim Group - Russia
Paul Herbert has been the CEO of Russia's largest pulp and paper company, the Ilim Group, for four years. In that time, Mr. Herbert modernized the company's forest operations, including the world's biggest purchase of forest equipment, and started the world's largest NSSC pulp plant. Under his leadership, Ilim reached record production volumes in Ust-Ilimsk and Koryazhma, overall production has exceeded 2.5 million, and sales have reached $2 billion. With over 40 years experience in the industry, Mr. Herbert has worked at all levels in the industry, from engineering to production and business. Serving as a senior executive, he has been on the front-edge of M&A activity around the globe, concluding deals whose value total $5 billion. With an everyman's approach to his employees and a wealth of worldwide experience, Mr. Herbert is propelling Ilim forward as an international pulp, paper and board producer.
For more information about the PPI Awards 2011,please click here.