IP starts search for new CEO; John Faraci, who has led the company since 2003 and oversaw its successful transition during that time, will retire as of March 1 due to IP's policy setting mandatory retirement at age 65

LOS ANGELES , June 2, 2014 () –

International Paper Co. (IP) is looking for a new CEO, with a “robust process actively underway to evaluate prospective candidates,” IP indicated in a statement, reported Memphis Business Journal on May 30.
 
John Faraci, who has been IP’s CEO since 2003, is required by the board’s policy to retire when he turns age 65, which will be next February. His retirement is to take effect March 1.
 
He had been IP’s CFO and president prior to being promoted CEO, Memphis Business Journal reported.
 
On June 2, IP promoted Mark S. Sutton, senior vice president of industrial packaging, to CFO and president, according to a June 2 IP press release. Sutton has been with IP for 30 years and has held many key positions across the company.
 
IP's stock was trading at US$47.17/share the morning of May 30, Memphis Business Journal reported. It was at $47.14 at the close of the New York Stock Exchange on June 2.

Faraci sold 30,000 shares of IP stock in early May, netting more $1.3 million, at a per-share price of $46.11. He still owns more than 1.55 million shares valued at $71.8 million.

During Faraci’s tenure, IP sold facilities that produce coated papers, food and beverage packaging, and wood products. This shrank the company by about one-third, Faraci said in an interview with the Memphis Business Journal late in 2013.

The sales of those facilities plus land netted IP $11 billion and positioned it for its $4.4 billion acquisition of Temple-Inland Inc. in 2012. IP was the largest landowner in the U.S. in 2003.

In recent years, IP has transitioned to a company that is not “bigger-is better,” said Faraci in the 2013 interview, noting that the focus was to become “profitable at a higher level and generate a lot of cash.”

A new office tower addition to IP’s headquarters in Memphis was announced by the company in late 2012 and is now under construction, reported Memphis Business Journal.

The primary source of this article is Memphis Business Journal, Memphis, Tennessee, on May 30, 2014. Click here to view full version of primary source's original article.

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