Johannesburg, South Africa, 15 July 2010 -- Sappi Southern Africa today announced that it would be consolidating its paper divisions to strengthen its ability to meet customer requirements and develop new business opportunities.
Sappi Fine Paper South Africa and Sappi Kraft will merge to become Sappi Paper and Paper Packaging South Africa (SA). Jan Labuschagne, CEO of Sappi Southern Africa, will assume direct responsibility for the new division.
Albert Lubbe will retire from his position as managing director of Sappi Kraft at the end of July 2010. He has served the group and industry with distinction since joining Sappi in 1997 as the managing director of Sappi Fine Paper South Africa and can be credited with beginning the drive to bring Sappi closer to its customers. He also has served the industry as chairman of the Paper Manufacturers Association (PAMSA) for the past 10 years.
Dinga Mncube will be the new executive director marketing for Sappi Paper and Paper Packaging SA. He was previously the managing director of Sappi Forests and thereafter the managing director of Sappi Fine Paper South Africa. Dinga is also the current vice-chair of Forestry South Africa.
Patrick (Pat) McGrady will be manufacturing director for Sappi Paper and Paper Packaging South Africa (SA). The position will have primary responsibility for all paper and paper packaging operations in South Africa.
Gary Bowles will succeed Alan Tubb as managing director of the renamed Sappi Chemical Cellulose division. He is currently the general manager of the Sappi Saiccor mill. He assumes his new position on 01 January 2011.
“By consolidating our paper and paper packaging businesses we are ensuring that we remain well positioned to respond effectively to the requirements of our customers and to drive strongly the key message that paper and paper packaging have a strong future and remain the best choice for many applications," said Jan Labuschagne, Sappi SA CEO. "In this regard Dinga Mncube will play a critical role to lead and drive this initiative and focus for Sappi Southern Africa. In addition, he is also being tasked with the development of new products and markets,” he said. “By putting in place early the succession plan for our chemical cellulose business we are ensuring that there will be no disruption in this important and growing segment of our business.”
Commenting on the announced changes in Sappi’s Southern African business, Ralph Boëttger, CEO of Sappi Limited, said, ”Our chemical cellulose business continues to grow in importance and the early announcement regarding succession in this division, will help to ensure the seamless transition from one leader to another.” He continued, “As to our paper businesses in Southern Africa, our global strategy and commitment is to move ever closer to our customers to ensure we better meet their requirements. Combining the paper and paper packaging businesses thus makes strategic sense and will contribute to the group delivering on its strategic priorities and profitability objectives.”