Austen named CEO of Bemis Co. Inc.

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Bemis Co. Inc. William Austen

Bemis Co. Inc. has a new leader, and he’s a familiar face.

William Austen becomes both CEO and president of the Neenah, Wis.-based packaging and pressure-sensitive materials company effective immediately, the company said.

He succeeds Henry Theisen, who will retire at the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting next year. Between now and then, Theisen will remain chairman the company said.

Austin, who has been chief operating officer since last year, has 14 years’ of experience with the company and another two decades with General Electric Co.

At 55 years old, he is five years younger than Theisen.

“Bill is a proven leader with in-depth knowledge of all aspects of Bemis,” the outgoing CEO said in a statement. “He brings a passion and commitment to helping our customers solve their challenging packaging needs.”

Aside from his recent duties as COO, Austen also has been president of the $5 billion company’s pressure-sensitive materials division, vice president of operations and group president, Bemis said.

Timothy Manganello is an independent director on the Bemis board. “The board is confident in the future of the Company under Bill Austen’s leadership,” he said in a statement.

He said Theisen’s “dedication to innovation and material science has shaped Bemis’ competitive advantage and positioned the company for future success.”