Louisiana-Pacific Names Chairman and CEO
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Louisiana-Pacific Corp. announced Tuesday it has named former International Paper Co. executive Mark Suwyn its chairman and chief executive officer.
Suwyn, 53, will replace Donald R. Kayser, a member of the Portland, Ore.-based wood products company’s board of directors who has been serving as interim chairman and CEO since the resignation of Harry Merlo on July 31, 1995.
Merlo was forced out by the board July 31 as the company was facing massive class-action lawsuits over faulty house siding, shareholder lawsuits, regulatory problems, a federal criminal investigation involving emissions at a Colorado plant, and a lingering sexual harassment lawsuit against Merlo by a former executive secretary.
Barry Lacter, a company spokesman, said the national search for a new chairman began the day Merlo resigned. ``It certainly was a thorough search,″ Lacter said, although he did not disclose the number of candidates interviewed.
Suwyn had been executive vice president at International Paper since 1992. He previously held a variety of positions at E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. from 1967 to 1992.
``Mark Suwyn meets all the criteria the Board established in seeking a new leader for L-P,″ Kayser said. ``He has outstanding managerial skills, a high level of energy and enthusiasm, and a strong, successful background in our businesses.″
Louisiana-Pacific recently agreed to a tentative class-action settlement that could cost the company more than $425 million to replace house siding that warps and rots.
On Oct. 30, Louisiana-Pacific reported a third-quarter loss of $159.1 million, or $1.48 per share, mostly due to a $367 million charge allocated to settle lawsuits over its Inner-Seal house siding.
The company still faces criminal charges in Colorado, along with shareholder and customer lawsuits.
Louisiana-Pacific stock surged just after Thanksgiving to a high of $26.25 after setting a 52-week low price of $20.875 a share on May 30. The company closed at $24.875 Tuesday, up 62.5 cents a share.