Steve Voorhees, CEO of WestRock, Named RISI North American CEO of the Year

RISI, the leading information provider for the global forest products industry, today announced that Steve Voorhees, Chief Executive Officer of WestRock, a leading provider of differentiated paper and packaging solutions, has been named the 2018 North American CEO of the Year.

The award will be presented to Steve Voorhees at the North American Conference on October 11, 2018 in San Francisco, California at the Parc 55 Hotel.

RISI’s North American CEO of the Year is nominated by a group of investment analysts and portfolio managers covering the North American forest products industry. During the nominations process, several analysts said Voorhees’ focus and success with mergers and acquisitions led to his nomination. One analyst continued by commenting that Voorhees is “incredibly insightful and very thoughtful, and I like his strategy in containerboard.”

WestRock’s recent M&A activity is extensive. Since the merger of MeadWestvaco and RockTenn which created WestRock as a $15 billion company in 2015, WestRock has strengthened its business by completing nine acquisitions, including SP Fiber, the packaging assets of Cenveo, Star Pizza, Multi Packaging Solutions, US Corrugated, Island Container, Hannapak, Plymouth Packaging and 32% of Grupo Gondi. WestRock also has completed the spin-off of its specialty chemicals business, the sale of its dispensing business and the sale of the majority of its land and development assets.

These portfolio actions have focused WestRock’s business on paper and packaging. WestRock now operates over 13 million tons of containerboard and paperboard capacity, making WestRock one of the leading paper and packaging companies in the world. In North America, WestRock is the second largest containerboard producer with 8.1 million tons of capacity and the largest boxboard producer with 4.2 million tons of capacity. The company recently announced the plan to invest $410 million into a new kraft linerboard machine in Florence, South Carolina.

Nominating analysts were also keeping an eye on WestRock’s goal to acquire Kapstone, the fifth largest containerboard producer in North America with 1.67 million tons/year (based on RISI capacity figures).

To discuss these latest business strategies, Steve Voorhees will sit down for an on-stage interview at the RISI North American Conference. Attending delegates will have the opportunity to hear his perspective on the market as a leader in the industry.

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