Vancouver, British Columbia (News release) -- Western Forest Products Inc. announced that it has appointed Steven Hofer as its President and CEO and a member of the Company's Board of Directors ("Board"), effective September 7, 2022. Mr. Hofer succeeds Don Demens, who will remain at Western in an advisory capacity until March 31, 2023 to ensure a seamless transition. Mr. Demens will step down from the Board effective September 7, 2022.
Mr. Hofer joins Western from BID Group, a global leader in wood processing technologies and solutions. At BID Group Mr. Hofer was responsible for creating and leading its key strategic initiatives, including BID's digital technology strategy to drive revenue growth and market, product and geographic diversification. Mr. Hofer started his career in the BC Coastal forest products sector and has deep and expansive industry experience.
"Steven brings a wealth of industry knowledge and has the vision, leadership skills and commitment to sustainability to guide Western's execution of its strategic plan and drive disciplined, long-term shareholder value," said Michael Waites, Chair of the Board. "Steven embodies Western's core values, and his holistic approach to the business equips him to continue working with our partners to strengthen our business."
"Western is a leader, not just in supplying specialty building materials, but in sustainably managing forests, advancing reconciliation and making important contributions to British Columbia," said Mr. Hofer. "It is an honour to be at the helm of this company, and to be returning to BC. Don and his team have built a strong foundation and achieved significant transformational growth at Western. I look forward to working to capitalize on the significant opportunities ahead for the Company."
Mr. Hofer has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the forest products industry with proven, long-lasting results identifying opportunities for innovation and building strategic partnerships. Mr. Hofer most recently served as Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, of BID Group. Prior to joining BID Group, Mr. Hofer held leadership positions with Interfor Corporation for 12 years, including serving as Interfor's Senior Vice President, Northwest Operations and Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing.
The Board wishes to thank Mr. Demens for his significant contributions to Western over the past 13 years, including nine as CEO. Mr. Demens joined Western in 2009 and served in a number of strategic roles before being appointed President & CEO in 2013. Mr. Demens led the strategic transformation of Western into a premier wood products company, championed safety in the workplace, built mutually beneficial relationships with First Nation partners, and accelerated the Company's industry-leading sustainability work.
"Don's unwavering leadership has been invaluable to Western's growth and success," said Mr. Waites. "His work fostering a culture of accountability and continuous improvement, recognizing safety as key priority in building long- term business success, and forging open and meaningful relationships with Indigenous groups has created a strong foundation for Western's continued success. We wish him the best in his retirement."