Debabrata Mukherjee to Succeed Joseph F. Raccuia as President and CEO
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - Finch Paper LLC today announced a transition in leadership. Joseph F. Raccuia is stepping down as President & CEO of the uncoated paper manufacturer effective May 24, 2013. He will be succeeded by Debabrata Mukherjee, Ph.D., who has served as vice president and general manager of specialty papers for worldwide paper manufacturer P.H. Glatfelter since 2008.
“Nearly five years ago, I came out of retirement to transform this century-old paper company into a leading 21st Century manufacturer, with high-performance work teams, strong union-management relations, improved efficiencies and a vibrant pipeline of next-generation products that would allow us to compete for the long-term in the global paper market,” Mr. Raccuia said. “Together, with an outstanding senior leadership team and the help of our employees and unions, I am proud to say Finch Paper is well on its way to achieving this transformation.”
Mr. Raccuia said Dr. Mukherjee’s expertise as a developer of specialty papers and a driver of innovation in the manufacturing environment make him well-suited to continue and expand upon the successes Finch Paper has achieved in recent years. Under Mr. Raccuia’s leadership, Finch has developed successful new products for the rapidly growing production inkjet printing market, and forged strong working relationships with academic institutions, including Cornell University, Clarkson University, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, of which Dr. Mukherjee is an alumnus.
Andrew M. Bursky, chairman of Atlas Holdings LLC, which co-owns Finch Paper with Blue Wolf Capital Management LLC, said, “Joe Raccuia assumed the leadership of Finch Paper at
a pivotal time, bringing energy, innovation and excitement to the Finch brand. He streamlined the operation, built an excellent management team, launched new products, and positioned the company for growth. We are indebted to Joe for his contributions to the business, we thank him for his service, and we wish him the very best as he begins the next chapter of his life.”
Mr. Bursky added: “We are fortunate to have attracted Deba Mukherjee, a transformational business leader and architect of innovative specialty paper products whose multi-disciplinary strengths are ideally suited to take Finch Paper to the next level of sustainable success. Deba will help continue the momentum that Joe Raccuia created.”
Dr. Mukherjee has strong ties to the Capital Region. He earned both a Doctorate and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. He joins Finch after a 15-year career with paper manufacturer P.H. Glatfelter in York, Penn., which in 2012 had $1.6 billion in sales.
“I am honored and excited by the opportunity to lead Finch Paper,” Dr. Mukherjee said. “As a senior executive at Glatfelter, I have known Finch as a formidable innovator with an outstanding reputation for quality products and unrivaled customer responsiveness. Now I look forward to leading this team and building upon its record of success, particularly in the areas of digital and specialty papers. Adding to my excitement is the opportunity to return to a region where I once lived and studied and where I set in motion the chain of events that led me to my chosen career.”
After joining Glatfelter as digital products manager in 1998, Dr. Mukherjee earned a steady series of promotions to specialty products manager in 2000; North American general sales manager, engineered products in 2002; director, engineered products in 2004; division vice president, engineered and converting products in 2006; and vice president and general manager, specialty papers in 2008.
In his most recent role, Dr. Mukherjee led a business unit with more than $900 million in worldwide sales and six North American locations. Under his leadership, the operating profit of the specialty papers unit increased by 98%, and the business achieved a consistent record of generating more than 50% of its revenue from new products.
Dr. Mukherjee’s expertise in chemical engineering has made him a globally recognized leader in new product innovation. He jointly holds three patents related to inkjet printing technologies and has been widely published in a number of scientific publications.
Before earning master’s and doctorate degrees from RPI, Dr. Mukherjee earned a Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in
Kharagpur, India. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from York College of Pennsylvania, School of Business. Dr. Mukherjee and his wife, Anindita, and son, Swarnava, will be relocating to the Greater Capital region.
Mr. Raccuia joined Finch Paper in February 2009, after retiring as president and CEO of SCA Tissue-North America, the $1-billion manufacturer of 100% recycled napkin, towel and tissue products.
During his four-plus years as president and CEO, he led a comprehensive program of organizational change that has enhanced Finch’s competitiveness and market share. He initiated new go-to-market-strategies; fostered new product development, particularly in the growing area of digital print media; successfully championed collaborative efforts with the company’s seven union locals to build High-Performance Work Systems and implement the company’s first Pay-For-Skill compensation model; and led a company-wide continuous improvement process that has achieved significant improvements in operational efficiencies, energy conservation, reduced raw material consumption and waste reduction.
“To have accomplished so much in such a short period of time is extremely gratifying,” Mr. Raccuia said. “I look forward to watching the next steps in this proud company’s evolution, and to having the opportunity to pursue some professional opportunities I put on hold four-plus years ago.”