DS Smith's Chairman Johnson Steps Down

U.K.-based DS Smith Plc, a producer of recycled paper and corrugated packaging, this week announced that Peter Johnson has decided to step down as chairman and resign from the company's board of directors. Johnson joined the board of DS Smith Plc as a non-executive director in 1999 and became chairman in 2007. The board had for some time been planning for his retirement during 2012.

Gareth Davis, who has been acting chairman since October 2011 and has been a non-executive director of DS Smith since June 2010, will become chairman of the board and of the Nominations Committee, effective immediately. Davis was previously group chief executive of Imperial Tobacco PLC and is chairman of both Wolseley plc and William Hill PLC.

Chris Bunker, senior non-executive director of DS Smith, noted that "on behalf of the board and the company, I would like to thank Peter for his immeasurable contribution to DS Smith. He has led the business through a period of transformation, and the business is in an excellent position to grow and develop further as a result. The board is delighted that Gareth has agreed to succeed him as chairman and lead the company through this next exciting stage of growth."