JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- It is with deep regret that the board of directors ("the board") of Sappi Limited today announced that the CEO of the company, Ralph Boettger, 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 Cronje, 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 Cronje, the board of Sappi and every single employee for their support and dedication in re-positioning Sappi for a great future."
For further information
Andre F Oberholzer
Group Head Corporate Affairs
Tel +27 (0)11 407 8044
Mobile +27 (0)83 235 2973
Group Head Investor Relations and Sustainability
Tel +27 (0)11 407 8391
Mobile +27 (0)83 320 8624
PO Box 31560
Tel +27 (0)11 407 8111
SOURCE Sappi Limited