After six years as Chairman of Green Resources (of which 1/2 year was as Deputy Chairman), Juha Niemela stepped down from the Board of Green Resources at the AGM 27 February 2015. We regret that he is leaving the company, but Juha wanted to prioritise his family, and we wish him good luck. Juha has done a tremendous job for Green Resources, leading the strategic development of the company. He focused on management issues, drove the development of the Green Resources culture and with his help we have been able to create a great, meritocratic organisation built on our African base.
Green Resources tripled in size during Juha's Chairmanship. GR became the leader in African plantation forestry establishment and has the most modern solid wood products mill in East Africa. His vision and industry knowledge ensured that we continued to plant new forest. At the same time, Juha emphasised the need for forward integration to create the highest paying market for our wood.
Green Resources benefited tremendously from Juha's successful global forest industry experience. He was CEO for 9 years from 1996 and built UPM-Kymmene to become Europe's most valuable forest industry company. At UPM, Juha made decisions to invest in what is probably Latin America's most profitable forestry and pulp operation, and China's most profitable and largest foreign owned paper mill.