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Greif (GEF) Names Pete Watson as New CEO and President

The packaging company, Greif, Inc.GEF announced that Pete Watson will succeed David Fischer as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of the company. Fischer, who will step down effective Oct 31, 2015, will also quit his position as member of the board of directors.

Watson, who currently holds the position of Greif's Chief Operating Officer (COO), will assume his new responsibilities on Nov 1, 2015. Watson has served in a variety of positions, including Division President, Paper Packaging & Services, and President of CorrChoice (a division of the company). He now looks forward to working with the board, the senior management team and all associates to execute the transformation process which will drive the company's profitability and growth.

On the other hand, Fischer has contributed immensely during his tenure of 11 years toward Greif's growth by design and implementing the company's transformation initiative which is lowering its cost structure. Fischer will remain with the company until the end of this year to assist with the transition process.

Greif has been progressing with its strategic transformation plan that will allow it to better align resources with the needs of customers, improve returns on invested capital and better reward its shareholders. The company has sold its non-core assets and operations that are no longer in line with its business portfolio.

So far in fiscal 2015, Greif completed eight divestitures - six in the Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services segment and two in Flexible Products. This will address capacity issues and also enable the company to benefit from previous productivity and operational excellence achievement. Greif also continues to accelerate its headcount reductions, and slash entertainment and travel budget by one-third by increasing video conferencing usage and eliminating all non-sales related travel. These actions will be accretive to earnings.

Greif is also moving forward with its growth initiatives. The company has completed two important expansions. The modernization of the Riverville Mill was completed on time as well as under budget. The addition of a second corrugator in North Carolina has also been completed on time and under budget.

Delaware, OH-based Greif makes and sells industrial packaging products, bulk containers, and containerboard and corrugated products worldwide. The company provides services such as blending, filling, packaging and recycling of industrial containers for a wide range of industries. Greif also manages timber properties in North America and offers land management consulting services.

Greif currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other favorably ranked stocks in the same sector include Berry Plastics Group, Inc. BERY , Graphic Packaging Holding Company GPK and Sonoco Products Co. SON . While Berry Plastics sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Graphic Packaging and Sonoco Products carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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GREIF INC (GEF): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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