Mondi Group said on Wednesday that Peter Oswald would take over from David Hathorn as chief executive when the latter retired in May.
The international paper and packaging company with listings in Johannesburg and London said in a statement that Hathorn, who became CEO in 2000 after joining the group in 1991, would work with Oswald over the next three months to ensure a smooth transition.
Oswald, who is currently an executive director and chief executive officer of Mondi’s Europe & International Division, would assume full responsibility as group CEO after the group’s annual general meetings on May 11.
Thereafter, the company said, Hathorn would continue to support his successor in an executive capacity until his retirement in February 2018.
The joint chairmen, David Williams and Fred Phaswana, said Hathorn had been instrumental in the group’s international expansion.
“He has led Mondi through major change in this period, most notably in the establishment of Mondi as an independently listed group through the demerger from Anglo American plc in 2007,” they said.
The statement added that market capitalisation of the group – which has key operations in central Europe, Russia, North America and South Africa – had more than quadrupled since listing in 2007, with a compound annual return to shareholders of more than 18 percent.
“The boards are extremely grateful to David for his contribution to the group over the past 26 years of service and wish him all the best in his retirement,” it said.
Oswald, who joined Mondi in 1992, has been an executive director and CEO of the Europe & International Division since January 2008. He is currently also serving as chairman of the Confederation of European Paper Industries.
The statement described him as “a proven leader with an intimate knowledge of the business, having been involved in the development of much of what comprises the group today”.
Mondi said it was confident that Oswald, who was named European and Global CEO of the year in 2013 by RISI, a leading information provider for the global forest products industry, would “offer strong continuity while bringing his own dynamism to the role”.