Brown switches to Sappi from Ball & Doggett

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Ball & Doggett Group CEO Craig Brown is moving from the merchanting side of the business to join paper manufacturer Sappi as its Australasian managing director, with Luke Wilkinson becoming CEO of Ball & Doggett Australia, and Richard Hislop promoted to the new CEO New Zealand.

Craig Brown, CEO, BJ Ball
Moving: Craig Brown leaves Ball & Doggett for Sappi

Brown succeeds John Walker at Sappi, who will retire at the end of the year. Brown will begin his tenure at the beginning of October, he leaves Ball & Doggett next Friday. Founded in South Africa, Sappi is the world's sixth biggest papermaker, sales last year were US$5.7bn, with mills located across Europe and North America.

In Australasia it sells both direct – to the heatset printers – and through merchants for coated stocks. Brown's two biggest customers will now be Wilkinson at Ball & Doggett, and David Martin, CEO at former rival Spicers.

Brown told Print21, "It was time for a change. It has been a great journey with Ball & Doggett. I wanted a new challenge and am really pleased with the opportunity to take over from John Walker at Sappi."

The two new CEOs at Ball & Doggett, together with CFO Stephen McDonald will report to Takahiro Miyata from parent JPP, who is assuming the role of managing director of Ball & Doggett Group.

Tony Bertrand – national marketing manager will be reporting into Luke Wilkinson. Kathy Pangratis – national HR manager will be reporting to Stephen McDonald.

The Ball & Doggett board thanked Brown for his “loyal service and outstanding leadership” over the past 15 years that he has been with the business. He joined BJ Ball in New Zealand in 2005, and in 2007 he moved with his family to Australia with Red Paper Group to lead the Raleigh Paper business.

When BJ Ball acquired CPI and Focus Paper in 2011, he became the CEO of BJ Ball Group. He was instrumental in the merger of BJ Ball and KW Doggett in 2017. He worked closely with Simon Doggett to form Ball & Doggett and made it the largest paper distribution business in Australasia. He also played a key role in the subsequent sale of the business to its long-term owner, Japan Pulp & Paper.

Tony Dragicevich, chairman, Ball & Doggett Group said, “On behalf of the board, I would like to congratulate Craig for the wonderful achievements in his career at BJ Ball and Ball & Doggett. Craig has worked tirelessly to successfully transform the business from a paper merchant into the largest diversified paper and related products distribution business in the region.

“Craig has always maintained a high degree of professionalism, integrity and personal commitment to the transformation of the business through some difficult periods, including the current Covid crisis. He leaves behind a robust management team and strong business, and we wish him every success in the future. Craig will remain aligned to the industry as he joins Sappi as its Australasian managing director.”

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