Friday 15 December 2017

A Smurfit's back in charge at family firm

Tony Smurfit and Gary McGann pictured at this morning's Smurfit Kappa AGM
Tony Smurfit and Gary McGann pictured at this morning's Smurfit Kappa AGM

Gavin McLoughlin and Paul O'Donoghue

Cardboard packing giant Smurfit Kappa announced a 1pc decline in first-quarter earnings yesterday, and also confirmed that a Smurfit will take the helm at the business for the first time since 2002.

Group president and chief operating officer Tony Smurfit will take over from Gary McGann as chief executive officer on September 1.

Mr McGann, who is retiring, has been ceo since 2002 when he took over from Michael Smurfit.

Tony Smurfit, Michael's son, has been chief operations officer since 2002.

"I am committed to building on the team's outstanding contribution under Gary's leadership. We have a clear vision for Smurfit Kappa," Tony Smurfit said in a statement.

Gary McGann, an Irish corporate heavyweight, said he has some plans for after he steps down.

"I have a number of things that I'm going to do," he said following the group's annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday.

"I've about four important months to do in Smurfit Kappa Group now to keep the momentum going with Tony, so we've an important transition but we've played as a team for many years with Tony, Ian Curley and myself, that's going to continue.

"I think Tony is a man of enormous experience in the industry, much more than I have, and obviously steeped in it," Mr McGann said.

Smurfit Kappa Group reported earnings in the first three months of the year of €266m, down slightly and impacted by the calculation of the Venezuelan exchange rate, where it has operations. Pre-tax profits fell 6pc to €98m for the period. rose 2pc to €1.962m.

Irish Independent

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