MONTRÉAL, Nov. 5, 2020 - Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today announced that after a 39-year distinguished career with Resolute, Yves Laflamme will be stepping down, and retiring, as of March 1, 2021.
The board of directors has unanimously selected and appointed Remi G. Lalonde as the company's next president and chief executive officer, effective on the same date. Mr. Lalonde, 44, currently serves as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Upon becoming president and CEO, Mr. Lalonde will be appointed to Resolute's board of directors. The announcement today coincides with Resolute's third quarter 2020 results.
"The Resolute board of directors enthusiastically supports Remi Lalonde's selection as the company's next president and CEO. He has an outstanding track record of success as well as strength of character and exemplary personal integrity. Remi's superior leadership skills demonstrated on a range of strategic initiatives have consistently impressed the board," stated Bradley P. Martin, chairman of the board of directors. "Remi has very good relationships with our stakeholders, sharp analytical skills, impressive credentials, and a strong business drive. We are confident he will guide the company through its ongoing strategic transformation, delivering improved shareholder value. Remi is the right person at the right time for Resolute."
As president and CEO, Yves Laflamme advanced Resolute's strategic transformation, divesting non-core assets and using the proceeds for debt repayment, organic growth in the company's pulp business, and acquisition of three sawmills in the southern United States. Recent results in Resolute's tissue business reflect Mr. Laflamme's commitment to continuous improvement. He has been a steadfast supporter in the development of internal talent, building a strong crop of future company leaders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Laflamme has guided the company in exceedingly difficult times while generously supporting the communities in which employees work and live. Mr. Laflamme invested in the development of sustainable biomaterials, highlighting the added value Resolute brings to fiber. He has also remained committed to expansion of the company's state-of-the-art Toundra Greenhouse joint venture, doubling its future production capacity. Mr. Laflamme is expected to continue to support the company and Mr. Lalonde in an advisory capacity after March 1, 2021, working on specific mandates.
"The board of directors express their appreciation to Yves Laflamme for a job well done. Yves reinforced Resolute's vision and values, focusing on safety, sustainability, profitability, accountability and teamwork. His commitment to continuous improvement, particularly in the area of costs, serves as a model to the entire organization, including the company's leadership team and board," added Mr. Martin. "His leadership of Resolute and support of our operating communities set the foundation for shared prosperity. Yves' unwavering commitment to workplace safety and environmental stewardship earned Resolute extensive North American and global recognition."
"I am honored to succeed Yves Laflamme as Resolute's next president and CEO," said Remi Lalonde. "I first want to thank the board and our shareholders for their confidence in offering me the opportunity to assume the leadership of this company. I also want to thank Yves for his support and guidance. In my capacity as CFO, I am fortunate to work in partnership with Yves, and I sincerely appreciate the trust he has placed in me with important projects and the leadership role he has had me play in our overall development. I wholeheartedly believe that Resolute has a bright future. I am excited to lead this talented team of 7,000+ dedicated people as we accelerate the evolution of our business to generate long-term value for our shareholders and to drive sustainable economic activity in the communities where we operate. The road ahead is certainly not without its obstacles, which will require some tough decisions, but we are up to the challenge. I am confident Resolute's culture, one of dedication, rigor, teamwork and setting high expectations, is exactly what we need to build on our progress."
Mr. Lalonde has been with Resolute for 11 years, rising through a series of successive roles in corporate, manufacturing and senior leadership. He has been serving as the company's senior vice president and chief financial officer since November 2018, after serving briefly as vice president for strategy, M&A, business development and procurement. Before then he was general manager for two and a half years at Resolute's Thunder Bay, Ontario, pulp, paper and power complex. He initially joined the company as senior counsel, securities in 2009, and took on the additional role of vice president, investor relations in 2011. In 2014, Mr. Lalonde was appointed vice president and treasurer, before moving into operations in Thunder Bay in early 2016. He began his legal career at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York City as an associate in the financial institutions and corporate & finance groups, where he worked for over six years. He graduated with a bachelor of laws from the University of Ottawa in 2003 and a bachelor of applied sciences in civil engineering from the University of Ottawa in 1999. Mr. Lalonde has led a number of important mandates for the company, and has represented Resolute in major negotiations with governments, private counterparties, unions and stakeholders. He is admitted to practice law in New York and Ontario.
"Remi represents the best of our Resolute culture; he works hard, welcomes collaboration and ideas of others, and believes in truly sustainable outcomes," said Yves Laflamme. "Remi consistently delivers superior results. He grew rapidly within the Resolute ranks, taking on one challenge after another, and each and every time, he hit the ball out of the park. As we pass the baton, I am pleased for Remi and for the entire Resolute organization who will benefit from his capable stewardship and drive to succeed."
Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Statements in this press release that are not reported financial results or other historical information are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. They include, for example, statements regarding the expected future financial results and strategic transformation of the Company. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as the words "will," "could," "may," "should," "believe," "expect," and other terms with similar meaning indicating possible future events or potential impact on our business or our shareholders.
The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not guarantees of future performance. These statements are based on Resolute's management's current assumptions, beliefs, and expectations, all of which involve a number of business risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed or implied in this press release. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause Resolute's actual future financial condition, results of operations and performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied in this press release include, the potential risks and uncertainties described under the heading "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of Resolute's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, which have been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, including related governmental responses and economic impacts, market disruptions and changes in consumer habits, and which should be read in conjunction with the COVID-19 risk factor update set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" in Part II, Item 1A of the company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2020.
All forward-looking statements in this press release are expressly qualified by the cautionary statements set out or referred to above and in Resolute's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Resolute disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
About Resolute Forest Products
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including market pulp, tissue, wood products and papers, which are marketed in close to 70 countries. The company owns or operates some 40 facilities, as well as power generation assets, in the United States and Canada. Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Resolute has received regional, North American and global recognition for its leadership in corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, as well as for its business practices. Visit www.resolutefp.com for more information.
Source: Resolute Forest Products Inc.