Business News

Tony Smurfit appointed as Group CEO designate at Smurfit Kappa Group

By Business & Finance
01 May 2015
Tony Smurfit appointment
Tony Smurfit and Gary McGann pictured at this morning’s Smurfit Kappa AGM.

Smurfit Kappa Group today announced that Tony Smurfit is to succeed Gary McGann as Group CEO designate after McGann steps down from the position on August 31st.

Smurfit Kappa is one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging solutions in the world, with around 43,000 employees in approximately 350 production sites across 33 countries and with revenue of €8.1bn in 2014. The Group is located in 21 countries in Europe, and 12 in the Americas.

Gary McGann has been vital to this continued success of the Group since being made CEO in 2002. He has presided over important transitional periods such as the company’s merger and subsequent IPO.

Educated through Irish at Coláiste Mhuire in Dublin, McGann graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from University College Dublin (UCD). McGann was appointed Smurfit Kappa Group CEO in November 2002. He was previously president and COO of the Smurfit Group since January 2000, having joined the company in 1998 as chief financial officer.

Liam O’Mahony, SKG Chairman, commented: “Gary has led the transformation of Smurfit Kappa since his appointment as Group CEO in 2002. Under his stewardship, the Group has more than doubled in size, consolidated its position as European market leader; increased the Group’s presence in Latin America; and, re-entered the US market. He also led the Group’s return to public markets in 2007 in what was the largest ever capital raising in the sector globally. Gary has been recognised within the industry and by capital markets as the outstanding CEO of our sector. The Board is grateful for his substantial contribution in leading the Group’s growth and development over the last 13 years.”

He continued: “We are extremely pleased to have an experienced executive of Tony Smurfit’s calibre to succeed Gary as CEO. Tony is a respected industry leader and an effective team builder with a strong track record of delivery. As Chief Operating Officer, he has been central to the performance and strategic development of the Group. Both Gary and Tony will continue to work closely together, over the next four months, to ensure a seamless transition to new leadership.”

Tony Smurfit has served as a director since 1989 and was appointed Group chief operations officer in November 2002. He has worked in various parts of the Smurfit Kappa Group, both in Europe and the United States since he joined the Group. He was chief executive of Smurfit Europe from October 1999 to 2002 prior to which he was deputy chief executive of Smurfit Europe and previously chief executive officer of Smurfit France.

Tony Smurfit, Group CEO designate, added: “I am honoured to accept the trust the Board has placed in me and am committed to building on the team’s outstanding contribution under Gary’s leadership. We have a clear vision for Smurfit Kappa and a highly regarded, performance-oriented, management team to sustain that vision. Our balance sheet strength and cash-flow generation capability will enable us to accelerate our evolution towards an ever more successful, market-led, customer centric packaging company.”

Gary McGann, Group CEO, concluded: “It has been a privilege to lead Smurfit Kappa Group as CEO. I have been honoured to have the unwavering support of our team of top-class professionals. I am confident that this team will sustain our vision as the most respected and differentiated supplier in our chosen markets – consistently delivering industry-leading returns. I am proud to have been a part of the Group during this great journey and delighted to hand over to Tony Smurfit to whom I extend my congratulations. I am confident that Tony and the team will drive the performance of the Group to even greater levels of success in the years ahead.”