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Sonoco CEO Sanders to retire after 30 years with company

Human Resources
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Jack Sanders, Sonoco president and CEO, will retire in April after 30 years with the Hartsville-based global packaging services provider.

Sanders’ retirement will be effective April 2. Robert Tiede, currently Sonoco’s executive vice president and COO, has been named CEO-elect by the company’s board of directors, which he will join upon Sanders’ retirement.

Since Sanders became CEO in 2013, Sonoco has seen its GAAP earnings grow by 46%, and the company’s return on net assets employed has gone from 7.6% to 11.1%. Sonoco has returned approximately $925 million to shareholders in dividends and share repurchase while providing a 104% total return.

“Jack’s leadership to re-envision Sonoco has provided tangible returns for our shareholders while building a stronger, more focused company that is trusted by our customers and employees,” Harris E. DeLoach Jr., executive chairman of Sonoco’s board of directors, said in a news release. “The board sincerely thanks Jack for three decades of service and looks forward to working with Rob to further build Sonoco into a leading diversified packaging solutions company.”

Sanders, a graduate of Louisiana State University with a finance degree, joined Sonoco in 1988. In addition to the Sonoco board of directors, Sanders is a member of the boards of the American Forest & Paper Association, Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation and S.C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. He is also the chairman of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce.

Tiede, 59, joined Sonoco in 2004. He has led the company’s global industrial, consumer and protective packaging operations while building its consumer-related businesses, which have seen sales grow by around 80% and improved operating profits by 125%.

“Rob has played an integral role in driving our consumer growth strategy and is ready to be Sonoco’s next CEO,” Sanders said. “His ability to turn around underperforming businesses, drive innovation to spur organic growth and help build our capabilities through targeted acquisitions has been an important element in executing our ‘Grow and Optimize’ strategy.” 

Tiede is the chairman of the Flexible Packaging Association of America and the United Way of Hartsville.

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