Thursday 21 November 2019

IAG director James Lawrence joins Smurfit Kappa board

Smurfit Kappa
Smurfit Kappa
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Shares in packaging giant Smurfit Kappa jumped about 4pc at one stage yesterday after it announced that the former head of the US arm of investment firm Rothschild, James Lawrence, is joining as a non-executive director. He's also previously served as chief financial officer at Unilever.

Smurfit Kappa, which is headed by chief executive Tony Smurfit, said Mr Lawrence is being appointed as an independent director, as part of an ongoing programme of board refreshment and renewal.

Two other non-executive directors - Sam Mencoff and Paul Stecko - have retired from the board. They've served 13 years and seven years respectively on the board of the Irish company.

Mr Lawrence is the chairman of Great North Star, an investment and advisory firm. He was chairman at the Rothschild division until earlier this year and had held the role since 2012. He was chief executive of the unit between 2010 and 2012. He is also a director of Aer Lingus owner IAG, whose chief executive is Willie Walsh.

He's been on the IAG board since 2010. Between 2006 and 2010 he was a non-executive director at British Airways, which is part of IAG.

Mr Lawrence was previously the chief financial officer at Northwest Airlines. From 1992 to 1994, he was chief executive of Pepsico's Asia, Middle East and Africa division.

He studied at both Yale and Harvard.

"He has a breadth and depth of expertise, across markets and business sectors, which will be of great value to the group in the years ahead," said Smurfit Kappa chairman Liam O'Mahony.

Earlier this week it emerged that Smurfit Kappa is planning to expand its assets in Mexico.

Paper machine engineering group PMP said it's been hired by Smurfit Kappa to rebuild a 100,000-tonne recycled containerboard mill at the company's Los Reyes plant.

Irish Independent

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