PRINTING IMPRESSIONS 400 YEAR IN REVIEW — Reflecting on 2003
BY chris Bauer
The year 2003 can be summed up as a period that had its ups and downs as far as the commercial printing industry is concerned. For every plant closing, there seemed to be a plant expansion project. For every poor financial report, there was a major capital equipment expenditure. Some big names left the industry, making way for a new generation of leaders. And the industry’s biggest annual trade show left attendees and exhibitors with a feeling of hope.
Let’s take a look back.
The beginning of the year brought with it changes to the top spots at several large commercial printers. At North America’s largest printer, Montreal-based Quebecor World, CEO and President Charles Cavell announced his plan to retire as of April 2003. This set off a lengthy search—and search some more—for a new leader at Quebecor. At the same time, CFO Christian Paupe also decided to pursue other opportunities. He was later replaced by Claude Helie.
It was eventually announced that Michael Desbiens, former president and CEO of Donohue, had been selected as the new CEO at Quebecor World. This lasted only a month, and Desbiens quickly resigned, citing family issues as the reason for his departure. The company then turned to Jean Neveu to replace Desbiens on an interim basis. Neveu is no stranger to Quebecor World, having held the titles of chairman, president and CEO in the past. Around the same time, Co-COO John Paloian also departed, leaving COO duties to David Boles.
Elsewhere, after helping Moore Corp. make a financial 180-degree turn to profitability, Chairman, President and CEO Robert Burton suddenly stepped down, making way for new CEO Mark Angelson. Alfred Eckert was then tapped to fill the position of chairman. Burton, who helped triple company stock prices in his two years at the helm, resurfaced later in the year, forming the Burton Management Group.