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Verso Announces B. Christopher DiSantis As New CEO

DiSantis will take over the paper company on February 1.

Verso Corporation, a Memphis, Tennessee-based company that runs a paper plant in Duluth, named B. Christopher DiSantis as its new CEO on Thursday.
 
DiSantis, 45, will start his tenure on February 1, replacing interim CEO Peter H. Kesser, who took over September 1 of last year.
 
Amid the shrinking demand for paper, Verso had struggled to stay profitable in recent years. After posting a $511 million loss in the 12-month period leading up to September 30, 2015, the company said it was considering restructuring moves, one of which was the idling of its Duluth plant.
 
Instead, Verso filed for bankruptcy and later closed down a paper mill in Kentucky and decreased production of its Maine plant. The company officially emerged from bankruptcy in the spring and has shifted its focus toward specialty papers over coated and uncoated printing papers for which global demand has softened.
 
In the meantime, Verso’s Duluth plant remains open with a staff of about 255.
 
“I’m thrilled to join Verso’s outstanding team as the company continues its evolution in a rapidly changing marketplace,” DiSantis said in a statement.
 
This won’t be DiSantis’ first time serving as a chief executive. Since 2012, DiSantis has been the CEO of H-D Advanced Manufacturing Company, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer of motion control products for the aerospace, defense, energy and industrial markets. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Latrobe Specialty Metals and president of Hawk Corporation.
 
Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show DiSantis will be paid an annual base salary of $825,000, along with other benefits including the potential to earn a bonus equal to his salary depending on the company’s performance.