IKON Office Solutions Names Matthew J. Espe Chairman of the Board
Press release from the issuing company
VALLEY FORGE, Pa.--Feb. 25, 2003--IKON Office Solutions, the largest independent distributor of document management products and services in the U.S. with operations throughout North America and Europe, today announced that its Board of Directors has elected Matthew J. Espe, President and Chief Executive Officer, to the additional position of Chairman of the Board, effective immediately.
As planned, Mr. Espe succeeds James J. Forese as he steps down from the position of Chairman, which he has held since May 2000. In March 2002, Mr. Forese announced his plans to retire as President and CEO by September 30, 2002, agreeing to remain as Chairman until the Company's next annual meeting in February 2003.
"Matthew Espe is an executive of exceptional caliber," said Thomas R. Gibson, the new lead independent director of the Company. "He is a strong leader dedicated to the highest principles of corporate governance, ethics, and organizational development that are essential to this critical role and to building long-term value for our shareholders. In addition, Matt has brought to IKON his considerable experience in sales, marketing and global distribution, including proven success in building businesses on a global scale. We are confident that Matt's energy, innovation and integrity will be a great asset to IKON as he leads this organization to continued success."
"I value the confidence the Board has expressed, as I assume this new role," said Mr. Espe. "Thanks to the leadership of Jim Forese and the Board and the dedication of IKON's employees, I have inherited a great foundation. Today, IKON has the strongest portfolio of products and services in the industry. We have first-class people working to deliver those products and services, matched with a solid financial foundation and strong corporate values. Building on that foundation, we are now developing a strong agenda for profitable, long-term growth.
"We will be expanding our growth resources through strong supplier relationships, new sales channels, and a more profitable mix of market leading products and services. Sound asset management and the continued development of a highly efficient, scalable infrastructure will support that growth, and provide substantial opportunity for earnings improvement and market leadership in the years ahead. Our employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders will benefit from a company that is extremely customer-centric and operationally efficient - a highly competitive and agile business model that will set IKON apart from other players in our industry," Mr. Espe concluded.
Prior to assuming the role of President and CEO in September 2002, Mr. Espe served 22 years with GE. He began his career with GE in 1980 and rose steadily through the ranks of general management at the Company both in domestic and international operations. Immediately preceding his move to IKON, Mr. Espe was President and CEO of GE Lighting where he began the transformation of GE's oldest business by improving global interaction of manufacturing, technology and sourcing within the company.
Today, IKON also hosted its 2003 Annual Shareholders Meeting. At the meeting, shareholders elected the eight nominees for the board of directors - Judith M. Bell, Philip E. Cushing, Matthew J. Espe, Thomas R. Gibson, Richard A. Jalkut, Arthur E. Johnson, Kurt M. Landgraf and Marilyn Ware - to serve for the ensuing year.
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