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UPM Biorefining EVP Believed to Have Perished in Plane Crash

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EVP of UPM (Finland) Biorefining Business Area, Heikki Vappula is believed to have died in a plane crash while on a private trip in Zimbabwe on Nov. 23, 2018. The authorities have confirmed that his name appears on the passenger list of the crashed plane.

Vappula was 51 years old. He joined UPM in 2006 as SVP of Global Sourcing. During 2010-2013 he acted as the President of Energy & Pulp Business Group. Since 2013 he held his current position. He was also a member of the Board of Finnish Forest Industries Federation. Before joining the forest industry Heikki had a successful career in Nokia Corporation for 13 years.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to Heikki who was a visionary and inspiring executive, always hungry for results. His insights and energy will be greatly missed by colleagues as well as business partners around the world," said Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO of UPM.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire Executive Team, I wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to Heikki’s family. We wish everybody to respect the privacy of Heikki’s family. This tragedy escapes all words."
 
Jussi Pesonen, president and CEO of UPM, will assume, on top of his regular duties, temporary responsibility as the Head of UPM Biorefining. The businesses and the transformative growth initiatives in Uruguay and biofuels formerly reporting to Heikki Vappula, will continue operations with existing resources and plans.

UPM will initiate a process for permanent management arrangements in due course.

UPM Biorefining consists of pulp, timber and biofuels businesses. UPM has three pulp mills in Finland and one mill and plantation operation in Uruguay. UPM operates four sawmills and one biorefinery in Finland. The main customers of UPM Biorefining are tissue, specialty paper and board producers in the pulp industry, fuel distributors in the biofuel industry and construction and joinery industries in the timber sector.
 

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