Sappi says CEO to step down due to ill-health - CNBC Africa

Sappi says CEO to step down due to ill-health

Southern Africa

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Ralph Boëttger

Ralph Boëttger, whose successor has not been identified, has been CEO of the company for almost seven years.

“In accordance with paragraph 3.59 of the JSE Limited Listings Requirements, it is with deep regret that the board of directors (“the board”) of Sappi Limited informs shareholders 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,” Sappi said in a statement

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.

The paper maker said that a process was in place to identify Ralph’s successor and to allow for a timeous and smooth hand-over.

“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,” Boëttger said.

Mr Boëttger retires by rotation as a director of the company at the AGM on 5 February 2014 and remains available for re-election. Such re-election will under the circumstances only be for a period up to and not beyond 30 June 2014.