THUNDER BAY – Forestry giant AbitibiBowater has announced that the company is continuing planning for the future. Richard B. Evans, Chair of AbitibiBowater, today announced that David J. Paterson will step down as President and Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2011, having successfully led the Company through the most far-reaching restructuring in its history. He will be succeeded by Richard Garneau, currently a member of the Board of Directors and the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst Paper Corporation.
Mr. Paterson has agreed to stay on in an executive advisory role through January 2011 and a non-executive advisory role through July 31, 2011, supporting a smooth transition and continued positive momentum for the Company. As announced yesterday, AbitibiBowater emerged from creditor protection as a lean, flexible and sustainable company, well-positioned for future growth.
“Throughout this time of transition, I have been inspired by the desire of all employees to create the right conditions to take AbitibiBowater back to profitability, build strong market presence, promote sustainability and position us for future success,” said Mr. Paterson. “Today, after three years of very demanding work, the foundations for that success are clearly in place, and I feel it is the right time to turn my time and attention back to the other people in my life who inspire me – my wife and family.”
“There is no doubt that Dave Paterson was the right person at the right time for AbitibiBowater,” said Richard Evans. “He set an example through his dedication and hard work. He gave us a new vision and a drive to succeed, and motivated everyone to believe in our future. AbitibiBowater today is a testament to his commitment, and the Board and employees of the Company are extremely grateful to him for his decisive leadership.”
Richard Garneau joined AbitibiBowater as a member of the Board of Directors in June 2010. Most recently, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst Paper Corporation from March 2007 to May 2010. Prior to his tenure at Catalyst, he held a variety of roles in the forest products industry. Upon graduating with a Degree in Administration from Laval University in Quebec in 1971, Mr. Garneau joined Ernst & Young and remains a member today of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
“AbitibiBowater is a company with a long history, skilled and dedicated employees, and a determination to succeed as a profitable and sustainable enterprise,” said Richard Garneau. “Dave Paterson and his team have laid the foundation for a future success story, and I’m excited for the opportunity to help write its next chapter.”