Leadership Transition at Bemis Co.
NEENAH, WI—August 7, 2014—The Board of Directors of Bemis Co. has announced that William Austen, 55, has been elected president and CEO, effective immediately. Austen succeeds Henry Theisen, 60, who will continue as executive chairman of Bemis until his planned retirement at the 2015 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. In addition, Austen has been elected to the Bemis Board of Directors.
"Bill is a proven leader with in-depth knowledge of all aspects of Bemis," said Theisen. "He brings a passion and commitment to helping our customers solve their most challenging packaging needs. He is a respected leader in the packaging industry and is uniquely qualified to lead Bemis into its next phase of growth. On behalf of the Board, I congratulate Bill on his new role and look forward to Bemis' continued growth and success in the years ahead."
Commenting on the management succession, Timothy Manganello, independent lead director of the Board of Bemis said, "The Board is confident in the future of the company under Bill Austen's leadership. On behalf of the Board, I also thank Henry for his numerous contributions to Bemis Company over his distinguished 38 year career. Under his leadership, Bemis completed the largest acquisition in company history, increasing total revenue approximately 40 percent. He also established a strategic footprint in Asia-Pacific and divested non-core assets to focus the Company on its target end-markets. Henry's dedication to innovation and material science has shaped Bemis' competitive advantage and positioned the Company for future success."
Austen has held a variety of leadership positions during his 14-year career with Bemis. After joining Bemis in 2000 as president of Bemis' Pressure Sensitive Materials division, he was elected vice president of operations in 2004, group president in 2012, and executive vice president and COO in 2013. Prior to joining Bemis, Austen spent 20 years in various leadership positions at General Electric. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Marine Engineering from the State University of New York Maritime College and a Master's Degree in Engineering Administration from George Washington University.