Paper360 - November/December 2012 - (Page 20)

VERSO PAPER David Paterson Takes the Reins at Verso New head of Verso Paper sees challenges, opportunities in the changing global printing and writing paper market KEN PATRICK MILL WISE I n late 2006, Verso Paper Corp. was born out of Apollo Management’s acquisition of International Paper’s coated and supercalendered paper business, and Mike Jackson became Verso’s first president and CEO, taking the new-born company public in May 2008. In May of this year, Jackson retired, passing the reins of Verso to David Paterson, an industry veteran with many years of leadership experience. Paterson, who served as president, CEO, and a director of AbitibiBowater (now Resolute Forest Products) from 2007-2011, and as president and CEO of Bowater from 2006-2007 (and its chairman during 2007), was with Georgia-Pacific in various executive, sales, and marketing positions from 1987-2006. He attributes much of his current management style to those 20 years at Georgia-Pacific. The following reflects Paterson’s views and perspectives on current coated and uncoated printing and writing paper markets that Verso serves, as well as the specialty papers arena which the company entered a few years ago. P&W PAPER MARKETS For several years now, coated paper markets in the Western world, particularly in the U.S., have continued to decline with further drop-offs in advertising, slowdowns in commercial printing, and sluggish GDP growth. Commercial printing has declined almost proportional to the continued, steady growth of digital based communications and entertainment. “Nobody knows what exactly will happen in these markets,” says Paterson. “Our customers don’t have the answer because they are still going through the changes in these markets, still adjusting. And the people we hire to study the markets don’t really know either. The only thing we know for sure is that 20 Paper360º NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - November/December 2012

Over the Wire
Achieving Zero Landfill of Fiber
Creating a Monument to Safety
Keeping the Paper Flowing
Transforming an Industry
Supporting the Community
David Paterson Takes the Reins at Verso
New Tissue Fabric, Felt, and Roll Cover Technology
Protecting Your Mill Against Cyber Threats
Association News
TAPPISafe Takes a Page from Other Industries
Paper360° Online Exclusives

Paper360 - November/December 2012