QUINNESEC - Verso Paper Corp. announced today that Michael A. Jackson will retire as the President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of Verso and that David J. Paterson has been elected by Verso's board of directors to serve in such roles, with both events to occur effective as of May 14.
"Verso truly has been fortunate to have Mike Jackson as our CEO during the past five years," said Scott Kleinman, Verso's Chairman of the Board. "Mike has established a solid culture and strategic foundation at Verso since we became an independent entity in 2006. Under Mike's direction, Verso has improved and refined our core product portfolio, developed and marketed a series of specialty products, and formulated and begun executing a forward-looking renewable energy strategy."
"Verso is on sound footing thanks to Mike's steady leadership," Kleinman said. "On behalf of the entire Verso team - our employees, board of directors, and stockholders - I want to thank Mike for his distinguished service and tremendous contributions to Verso."
"Going forward, we are pleased and honored that Dave Paterson will become Verso's new CEO," Kleinman said. "Dave brings to Verso a wealth of experience garnered during his many years of service as an executive with AbitibiBowater Inc., Bowater Incorporated, and Georgia-Pacific Corp. Dave is an outstanding leader, a respected and knowledgeable businessman, and absolutely the right person to lead Verso in the next phase of its business life."
"I am pleased to be appointed as CEO and am excited about the opportunities ahead for Verso," Paterson said. "Verso has a strategic focus, exceptional people, and a nimble management approach that should bode well for the future. I am truly excited to be joining the Verso team."
"It has been an honor and privilege for me to serve as Verso's CEO during the past several years," said Jackson. "I have so much appreciation for the incredible work and indomitable spirit of our employees. I am confident that this will be a seamless CEO transition and that Dave Paterson is well prepared to continue the evolution and execution of Verso's strategies."
Jackson will continue to serve as the President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of Verso through Verso's first quarter earnings call on May 14, after which Paterson's appointment to these positions will become effective.
Paterson will serve as a Class II director of Verso with an initial term expiring at Verso's 2013 annual meeting of stockholders.
Paterson, 57, served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of AbitibiBowater Inc. (now doing business as Resolute Forest Products), a leading global producer of newsprint, coated and specialty papers, market pulp and wood products, from 2007 to 2011.
He was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bowater Incorporated during 2007 and President and Chief Executive Officer of Bowater Incorporated from 2006 to 2007.
From 1987 to 2006, Paterson worked in various executive and sales and marketing positions for Georgia-Pacific Corp., a leading global manufacturer of tissue, packaging, paper, building products and related chemicals, including most recently as Executive Vice President of the Building Products division from 2003 to 2006, Executive Vice President of the Pulp and Paperboard division from 2001 to 2003, President of the Paper and Bleached Board division in 2001, and Senior Vice President of the Communication Papers division from 2000 to 2001.
Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Verso Paper Corp. is a leading North American producer of coated papers, including coated groundwood and coated freesheet, and specialty products.
Verso owns and operates the Quinnesec Pulp and Paper Mill.