VANCOUVER, B.C. - Canadian lumber giant West Fraser has appointed Ray Ferris, the company's executive VP and chief operating officer, as its new CEO - effective when current CEO Ted Seraphim retires at the end of 2019.
“This is an important step in the implementation of our CEO succession plan. Ray has worked closely with Ted for many years and has demonstrated tremendous leadership in executing our operating and capital plans,” Hank Ketcham, chairman of West Fraser’s board of directors said.
“His leadership, experience and proven commitment to people, safety, operational excellence and maintaining our culture will continue to drive our company forward. I know that I speak on behalf of all our employees in saying how pleased we are that Ray will be our next CEO,” Seraphim added.
Ferris has been with the company since 1997 and has progressed through a series of key leadership roles. He was appointed West Fraser’s executive vice-president and COO in 2016 and before that served in several executive positions including as vice-president of wood products, vice-president of solid wood and vice-president of lumber operations. He holds an engineering degree and has extensive manufacturing experience in the forest industry.
West Fraser has seen much growth as of late, with an expansion into the U.S. lumber market with the $430 million acquisition of the Gilman Companies last July. The acquisition included six sawmills and a fingerjoint mill in Florida and Georgia, as well as an administrative office in St. Marys, Georgia.
Upon completion of this transaction, West Fraser has a combined Canadian and U.S. lumber production capacity of 7.2 billion board feet. Canadian capacity of spruce/pine/fir (SPF) lumber makes up 57 percent of capacity and U.S. capacity of southern yellow pine (SYP) lumber represents 43 percent of capacity.
A diversified wood products supplier, West Fraser produces lumber, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp, newsprint, wood chips and energy with facilities in western Canada and the southern United States.
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