PaperAge Magazine

Sappi Appoints Marco Eikelenboom as CEO of Its European Operations, Berry Wiersum to Retire

Marco Eikelenboom with Berry Wiersum (l-r) Marco Eikelenboom with Berry Wiersum.

Dec. 4, 2020 - Sappi Limited announced that Marco Eikelenboom (53), currently Vice President Marketing & Sales, Graphic Papers at Sappi Europe, has been appointed as CEO of Sappi Europe as from 1 April 2021. Eikelenboom succeeds Berry Wiersum (65), a 40-year veteran of the industry in Europe, who will retire at the end of March 2021. Wiersum joined Sappi as CEO of Sappi Europe, a position he held for 14 years.

Steve Binnie, Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Limited commented, "I would like to thank Berry for his significant service to Sappi during his 14 years with the company and for the support he has shown me as CEO. He is an outstanding leader both for the company and for the industry. His tenure saw massive changes as we made significant acquisitions, invested in machine rebuilds, restructured and refocused the business, all to ensure that Sappi could respond to and take advantage of the changes which were occurring."

Commenting on the appointment of Eikelenboom, Binnie said, "Marco is an experienced leader who has been integral to the development and execution of Sappi's strategy and the investments and decisions we have made in Europe to ensure we maintain our graphic papers leadership while growing our packaging and specialities businesses. I am confident that under Marco's leadership the business will take full advantage of the exciting opportunities for the pulp and paper industry in Europe and across their export markets."

Eikelenboom joined KNP in 1992. After KNP Leykam was acquired by Sappi in 1997, he was appointed Managing Director of Sappi Benelux in 1998. In 2002 Eikelenboom transferred to Sappi Southern Africa as Marketing Director for the Fine Paper division, returning to Sappi Europe in 2004 as Director Marketing & Sales for Graphic Papers. In 2009, he was promoted to Vice President Marketing & Sales for Graphic Papers.

Eikelenboom has overseen numerous projects which have helped to successfully restructure and reposition Sappi's Graphic Papers business in Europe, including a new go-to-market strategy and heightened levels of commercial service resulting in increased customer preference and retention. As a member of the European Management team he is fully engaged in the ongoing restructuring and refocusing of Sappi's European operations.

Eikelenboom, a Dutch citizen, is fluent in Dutch, English, French and German. He holds a MBA from Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands) and has undertaken various executive education programmes at IMD, MIT Sloane/IMD and INSEAD.

Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sappi is a global leader in paper, paper pulp and dissolving wood pulp solutions. The company has over 12,500 employees; manufacturing operations on three continents, in seven countries (nine mills in Europe, three mills in America and four mills in South Africa) and customers in over 150 countries worldwide. To learn more, visit:

SOURCE: Sappi Limited