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MeadWestvaco Announces Departure of Former Mead Executives

Press release from the issuing company

STAMFORD, Conn., Jan. 23 -- MeadWestvaco Corporation today announced that Cynthia A. Niekamp, chief financial officer, and Barbara L. Brasier, treasurer, are planning to leave the company. Change of control severance agreements that Ms. Niekamp and Ms. Brasier had with The Mead Corporation prior to its merger with Westvaco Corporation expire on January 28, 2004. Each is claiming severance under these agreements on the grounds that the terms of their employment -- including location and executive compensation and benefits programs -- have been changed. Ms. Niekamp and Ms. Brasier both indicated their desire to assist in a smooth transition and are continuing in their current capacities for a limited period. Ms. Niekamp intends to certify the company's 2003 fourth quarter and year-end results. MeadWestvaco will conduct a search to replace the executives and will be evaluating both external and internal candidates. John A. Luke, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, said, "We thank Cindy and Barb for their contributions to the creation of our new company. I wish them the best in their future endeavors."