RusForest AB (publ) (“RusForest” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ OMX: RUSF), a Swedish forestry company with operations in Russia, announces the appointment of Matti Lehtipuu as Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), effective July 8, 2013. In addition, the Company today issued the notice for an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders in order to appoint Garrett Soden as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Matti Lehtipuu joins RusForest with over 10 years of forest industry experience from Pöyry Management Consulting. Mr. Lehtipuu started his career at Pöyry in 2001 as an Analyst in the Wood Products team in London. In 2004, he was transferred to Moscow to build a new office for Pöyry Forest Industry Consulting. Since 2007, he has led the management consulting business for Pöyry in Russia and the CIS countries. Mr. Lehtipuu is Finnish, lives in Moscow and speaks Russian. He has a master of sciences degree in forest products marketing from the University of Helsinki.
Mr. Lehtipuu replaces Garrett Soden, who is resigning to pursue other opportunities with the Lundin family. Mr. Soden has been CEO of RusForest since August 2012 and will remain available to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities. Nova Capital, the Company’s largest shareholder, consulted with the nomination committee and requested the Board to call an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders in order to appoint Mr. Soden as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The Company’s current Chairman, Paul Putz, is being proposed as Deputy Chairman.
Paul Putz commented, “The Board of Directors is pleased to appoint Matti Lehtipuu as CEO. He has impressive experience in the Russian forestry sector and extensive knowledge across the full industry value chain. Matti’s appointment is a key step towards reaching our goal of a profitable, sustainable forestry business. We thank Garrett for the successful restructuring of RusForest, and we look forward to him joining the Board as Chairman.”
The Board of Directors has resolved to allocate a total of 1,200,000 employee stock options under the 2013/2016 program to Mr. Lehtipuu.