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Suzano's Walter Schalka Named PaperAge's Executive Papermaker of the Year

Walter Schalka Walter Schalka, CEO, Suzano

March 23, 2023 - PaperAge has announced that Walter Schalka, Chief Executive Officer of Suzano, is the recipient of PaperAge's 36th annual "Executive Papermaker of the Year" award.

PaperAge selects its Executive Papermaker based on corporate vision, strategic objectives and strong leadership both within the individual's company and the paper industry as a whole. The award has been an industry tradition since 1988.

Under the leadership of Mr. Schalka, Suzano reported best ever results in 2022. "The combination of good volumes in terms of sales and better prices lead us to a situation that we had the best EBITDA ever in the company," Mr. Schalka told financial analysts in Suzano's 2022 fourth quarter and full year conference call.

In October of 2022, Suzano announced a deal to buy Kimberly-Clark's tissue business in Brazil for $175 million, which will increase its presence in the county's tissue market from 11% to around 22-25%. The transaction is awaiting final regulatory approval.

The company's "Cerrado Project" in the municipality of Ribas do Rio Pardo, in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, is about 50% complete and is on time and on budget. The new $2.8 billion eucalyptus pulp mill will have an annual production capacity of 2.55 million tons and is one of the largest private sector investments currently under development in Brazil.

Also in 2022, Suzano planted more than 260,000 hectors of additional eucalyptus forestland to address some of its future fiber needs.

In addition, Suzano has teamed-up with five other major companies to create "Biomas", a company focused entirely on the restoration, conservation and preservation of forests in Brazil. Its mission is to restore and protect, over the next 20 years, four million hectares of native forest in some of Brazil's most valuable ecosystems.

Within Suzano, Mr. Schalka emphasizes safety and culture development. "I'm very pleased to announce our best ever results on safety performance as well, and a major improvement on our cultural development, mainly showing that we are preparing the company for our future," he said.

An article about Suzano will be published in the January/April 2023 issue of PaperAge magazine.


Walter Schalka has served as CEO of Suzano since January 2013. He has played a strategic role in the evolution of the company's results in recent years, including the combination between Suzano Pulp and Paper and Fibria Celulose in January 2019.

Schalka started his career at Citibank and later joined the holding company of Grupo Maepar. In 1989, he began working as CFO at Dixie Lalekla, and later became General Manager and eventually CEO after the merger that created the Dixie Toga Group. In May 2005, he joined Grupo Votorantim as CEO of Votorantim Cimentos.

Schalka holds a bachelor's degree in Engineering from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA) and a graduate degree in Business Administration from the Getulio Vargas Foundation of São Paulo (FGV-SP). He also participated in executive programs at IMD (Switzerland) and Harvard University (USA).

SOURCE: PaperAge

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