Wausau Paper CEO Newell resigns, search to begin for replacement

Special to The Freeman

April 2, 2014

MOSINEE – On Wednesday, Wausau Paper announced that its president and chief executive officer, Henry C. “Hank” Newell, stepped down as CEO effective immediately and intends to resign from the company’s Board of Directors after a brief transition period.

In addition, non-executive Chairman Thomas J. Howatt will be retiring from the board in advance of the company’s 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, according to the announcement.

Michael C. Burandt, a Wausau Paper Board member since February 2012 and a member of the Board’s Audit and Corporate Governance committees, has been appointed interim chief executive officer and will become chairman following a brief transition period, according to the announcement.  A search will be conducted for a permanent CEO replacement.

“Going forward, we will continue to pursue our tissue-focused strategy in order to drive growth, increase earnings, return cash to shareholders and create long-term value. I look forward to the opportunity to work with Wausau Paper’s talented team,” Burandt said in a statement. 

Burandt, 68, is a paper industry veteran, having served from 1988 until 2007, in various senior positions at Georgia Pacific Corporation. From November 2000 until May 2007, he was Georgia Pacific’s executive vice president of North American Consumer Products, which included the at-home and away-from-home tissue businesses, fine paper business, bleached board business and the DIXIE brand businesses.

Wausau Paper produces and markets a complete line of away-from-home towel and tissue products, is headquartered in Mosinee, and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol WPP.