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MeadWestvaco: Tatar Retires; John Luke, Jr. Assumes Role As Chairman

Press release from the issuing company

STAMFORD, Conn., Dec. 30 -- Jerome F. Tatar, as announced on August 27, 2002, retired today as chairman of the board for MeadWestvaco Corporation. John A. Luke, Jr., president and chief executive officer, now assumes the additional role of chairman. Mr. Tatar is the former chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Mead Corporation. "Jerry has been instrumental in helping to create MeadWestvaco," said Mr. Luke. "He's been a great leader, as well as a true friend and partner, and we'll all miss working with him. "We are both tremendously proud of MeadWestvaco's people and all that they've accomplished in our first 11 months. They have exceeded every synergy target that's been set for them while bringing energy and imagination to the task of building a unique enterprise that will create new value and opportunity for shareholders, customers and employees," he said. Mr. Tatar, 56, began his career with The Mead Corporation in 1973 as an operations research analyst and moved through a variety of management assignments before becoming president and chief operating officer in 1996 and chairman and CEO in 1997. Mr. Luke, 54, began his career with Westvaco in 1979, becoming president and CEO in 1992 and chairman in 1996.