Jimmy Lee Steps Down as Chair of Mercer International

Wed 28 Feb 24


One of the world’s largest forest companies, Mercer International, has appointed a Chair after the resignation of Jimmy Lee due to health reasons.

Mercer International, which operates across the USA, Germany, Canada, and Australia, has appointed William McCartney as interim Chair, with Mr Lee appointed Chairman Emeritus after serving as director for 35 years, and from 1992 to 2015, was the company CEO.

“We regretfully accept Jimmy’s resignation, and on behalf of the board of directors, I wish to thank him for his pioneering spirit and strategic aptitude over 35 years,” Mr McCartney said.

Juan Carlos Bueno, the company CEO, said, “On behalf of the management team, I would like to thank Jimmy for his guidance and leadership,” adding that “his entrepreneurial vision was instrumental in Mercer growing from one pulp mill in 1994 to become a leading global forest products company.”

Mercer International produces over 2.3 million tonnes of pulp, 960 million board feet of lumber, 403 MW of green electricity and more than 140,000 cubic metres of cross-laminated timber.

As a leader in the push to prefabrication and high-value mass timber products, it is teaming up with architects to construct a multi-storey affordable housing out of glulam beams and cross-laminated timber panels.

It is also leading the global push to produce bioproducts from biomass and is a worldwide leader in producing Lignin, one of the most prevalent bio-polymers on earth.

Mercer International owns and operates 2,500 hectares of West Australian Sandalwood plantation through Santanol. (Photo Credit: Mercer International Linkedin)

Its Perth-based Santanol business is one of its newest and most diverse acquisitions, operating East Indian Sandalwood plantations in Kununurra, in northeastern Australia. 

The oils from the plantations are refined and blended through a state-of-the-art distillation and are processed into aromatherapy, flavours, fine fragrances, pharmaceutical and skincare products.

According to the financial publication Investing, the leadership change comes when the company, like others in the industry, faces the challenges of cyclical business patterns, raw material costs, and various market risks.

Earlier this month, Mercer International posted its financial performance for the December quarter, with Mr Bueno remarking:

“In the fourth quarter, our operating results were positively impacted by an improved pulp pricing environment. However, our results decreased relative to the preceding quarter because of greater planned maintenance downtime in the fourth quarter and because in the third quarter there were positive impacts from the recognition of non-cash items and sales of previously impaired inventory.”


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