Johannesburg, 14 May 2007 - Sappi Limited announced today that Roeloff Jacobus (Ralph) Boëttger (45), currently an executive director of Imperial Holdings Limited, will join Sappi on the 1st of July this year as chief executive officer.
Ralph Boëttger is a chartered accountant by training with a wide general management experience. At the age of 34 he was appointed chief executive officer of Safair and the next year appointed to the executive committee of SAFREN Limited. Since 1998 he has been with Imperial Holdings when Imperial acquired Safair and since 2002 he has been an executive director of Imperial Holdings with responsibility for their local and international logistics operations, the aviation division and the heavy commercial vehicle distribution operations. His field of responsibility encompassed businesses operating in Southern Africa, numerous European countries, the Middle East and Asia. He is well versed in managing an operation with diverse cultures. Ralph Boëttger is a South African citizen and lives in Johannesburg.
Sappi said today that Ralph Boëttger will join the company on the 1st of July and after a short familiarization period he will assume executive responsibility of the Sappi group. At that time Sappi chairman Eugene van As, who has been acting as chief executive for the past 13 months, will revert to a non-executive role.
Sappi also announced today that Eugene van As would retire from the board of Sappi Limited at the annual general meeting in March 2008. The process of electing a new chairman will start soon.
In an interview today Ralph Boëttger said that he was very excited about joining Sappi Limited, "I was attracted by the group's global footprint, its strong history of success and the tremendous upside potential that the business has to grow stakeholder wealth as well as opportunities for the people in the group. I look forward to working with the Sappi team".
Sappi chairman Eugene van As said today “The board was delighted that Ralph Boëttger has agreed to join Sappi. He is an energetic, hands-on executive with a passion for business and an impeccable track record. I know he will get unqualified support from the Sappi team and will get the best out of all of them".
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