Verso CEO Adam St. John leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After less than one year in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for St. John
  • Randy Nebel taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor

(exechange) — Miamisburg, Ohio, October 1, 2020 — Adam St. John, chief executive of Verso, leaves. As announced by Verso Corp. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, October 1, 2020, Adam St. John has left his post as chief executive officer at the producer of coated papers after less than one year in the role, effective September 30, 2020.

Verso will undertake a search for a successor.

Adam St. John’s duties as CEO will be taken over in the interim by Randy J. Nebel, most recently Executive Vice President of Integrated Packing of KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation, as interim Chief Executive Officer.

Already a director

Nebel is already a director of Verso. Generally speaking, most director-turned-CEO appointments occur following a sudden resignation of the outgoing CEO and signal a lack of preparedness on the company’s part to groom internal talent. Directors-turned-executives represent a blend of outsider and insider.

They don’t have the constraints of a pure insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions, and they have more company knowledge than a pure outsider.

Having been a director, Nebel understands the expectations and dynamics of the board and has knowledge of Verso’s organization, risk-management practices and strategy.

No reason given

In the announcement, Verso did not explicitly explain the reason for Adam St. John’s move.

Precise information regarding Adam St. John’s future plans was not immediately available.


Verso said: “Adam St. John has resigned as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective as of September 30, 2020.”

Verso further said: “Effective September 30, 2020, Adam St. John resigned from his role as President and Chief Executive Officer of Verso Corporation (“Verso”) and from the Board of Directors of Verso.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Verso Corp.’s share price of 47% since November 2019.

Chaired by Sean Erwin

Sean Erwin serves as Verso Corp.’s Chairman.

Sean T. Erwin has been the Company’s director since January 2020. Erwin is Chairman of the Board and a member of the Audit Committee. Erwin formerly was the Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President at Neenah Paper, Inc. He has more than 40 years of paper industry experience, including in various executive leadership roles.

In the position of CEO since 2019

Adam St. John became CEO of the Company in 2019.

St. John has been a director of Verso since November 11, 2019 and has served as Verso’s Chief Executive Officer since November 11, 2019 and the Company’s President since March 13, 2020.

Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer, St. John served as Verso’s Senior Vice President of Manufacturing from August 2016 to November 2019.

He also previously served in various operations management positions with Verso, most recently as Regional Vice President of Operations from 2015 to July 2016, Mill Manager of Verso’s Quinnesec mill in Michigan from 2011 to 2015, and Operations Manager of Verso’s Androscoggin mill in Maine from 2009 to 2011.

Before joining Verso, St. John worked at Georgia-Pacific Corporation, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc., in operations management roles at its mill in Old Town, Maine, from 1992 to 2006.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Verso and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 40.2020 ($).