RockTenn Chairman Jim Rubright Earns Executive Honor
Feb. 26, 2009 - PaperAge magazine announced that James A. Rubright, chairman and chief executive officer of RockTenn Company, has been named “Executive Papermaker of the Year.”
Mr. Rubright will be honored at a ceremony in New York City on March 23, 2009 during the American Forest & Paper Association's Paper Week convention.
Since 1988, PaperAge has annually selected recipients of its Executive Papermaker of the Year Award based on corporate vision, strategic objectives and strong leadership both within the individual's company and in the paper industry as a whole.
Rubright joined RockTenn in October 1999 as CEO and was named chairman of the board in January 2000. Previously, Rubright served as executive vice president of Sonat, a Birmingham, Alabama-based energy company where he oversaw the company's natural gas pipeline and energy marketing business. Prior to that, he was an M&A attorney and partner for over 20 years with the legal firm King & Spalding in Atlanta.
Under Rubright's watch, RockTenn has been on a mission to improve its core businesses and reduce costs, goals that the company steadily strived for and achieved.
In 2005, Rubright engineered a deal to buy substantially all of the assets of Gulf States Paper, including its Demopolis solid bleached sulfate board mill—a low cost bleached paperboard mill in Alabama. Three years later, in March 2008, RockTenn acquired Southern Container, a deal that included Southern's Solvay mill, one of the newest and lowest cost containerboard mills in North America. It has been said that one of the reasons privately-held Southern Container considered selling to RockTenn was Jim Rubright.
As one industry analyst observed, “...he has been very disciplined about borrowing money to make acquisitions and paying it down, and keeping his credit risk profile in good shape before he'll go onto the next opportunity. It's that discipline and ability to seek out the right assets to his business that differentiates him so much."
In the fourth quarter of 2008 (RockTenn's first fiscal quarter), the company posted record adjusted earnings, up 88% from the corresponding quarter in 2007—a remarkable achievement considering the current economy.
The Executive Papermaker of the Year Award ceremony will take place on Monday evening, March 23, at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel during the American Forest & Paper Association's (AF&PA) annual Paper Week Convention www.paperweek.org..