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VANCOUVER, BC --(Marketwired - February 15, 2016) - West Fraser (TSX: WFT) announced today that Peter Rippon, Vice-President, Pulp and Energy, will retire at the end of April 2016 and Dave Lehane, Vice-President, Woodlands, will retire at the end of June 2016.
We are also announcing, as part of our ongoing leadership advancement and succession process, the following organizational changes:
Ray Ferris, currently our Vice-President, Wood Products, has been appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. Ray will be responsible for the successful implementation of our operating strategies. Ray has been with the Company since 1997 in a number of senior roles and has extensive manufacturing experience in the forest products industry.
Chris McIver, currently our Vice-President, Lumber Sales and Corporate Development, has been appointed Vice-President, Sales and Marketing and will assume overall responsibility for sales and marketing of lumber, panels and pulp products and for transportation matters.
Sean McLaren, currently our Vice-President, U.S. Lumber Operations, has been appointed Vice-President, U.S. Lumber reflecting his greater role in the implementation of strategies and initiatives for our U.S. lumber division.
Brian Balkwill, currently our General Manager, Canadian Lumber, has been appointed Vice-President, Canadian Lumber. Brian has been with the Company since 1986 and has held a variety of progressive roles in forestry and manufacturing and holds a degree in forestry.
Keith Carter, currently our General Manager, Pulp Operations, has been appointed Vice-President, Pulp and Energy Operations, and will assume the pulp and energy operational responsibilities of Peter Rippon on his retirement. Keith has been with the Company since 2000 and has held a variety of maintenance, engineering and general management responsibilities and holds an engineering degree.
Larry Gardner, currently our General Manager, Canadian Woodlands Operations, has been appointed Vice-President, Canadian Woodlands and will assume the Canadian woodlands responsibilities of Dave Lehane on his retirement. Larry has been with the Company since 1980 in a variety of roles including Chief Forester and is a Registered Professional Forester.
Chuck Watkins, currently our General Manager, U.S. Lumber Manufacturing, has been appointed Vice-President, U.S. Lumber Manufacturing. Chuck has been in the wood products industry since 2006 and joined us in 2012. He holds an engineering degree.
Ted Seraphim, our President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Peter and Dave have each made enormous contributions to West Fraser over their long careers with us. They each exemplify the West Fraser culture of hard work, commitment and strong fundamental values. We will miss working with them and wish them all the best in their retirements."
Ted added that, "We are delighted that Brian, Larry, Keith and Chuck are joining our executive team and are also delighted that Ray, Chris and Sean will assume broader responsibilities as key members of our executive team. These appointments and changes are part of a long-term advancement process. We have a deep talent pool at our senior management level which will help ensure a smooth and orderly implementation of our long-term management advancement and succession process."
West Fraser is a diversified wood products company producing lumber, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp, newsprint, wood chips and energy with facilities in western Canada and the southern United States.
West Fraser shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol: "WFT".
This News Release contains certain forward-looking statements about potential future developments, in particular those relating to the announced retirements of Mr. Rippon and Mr. Lehane and changes in the Company's management. Readers should exercise caution in relying upon forward-looking statements and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise them to reflect subsequent events or circumstances except as required by applicable securities laws.
For more information:
Ted Seraphim, President and Chief Executive Officer
Larry Hughes, Vice-President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer