Packaging powerhouse Berry Global announced today that its Board of Directors has unanimously elected Kevin Kwilinski as CEO, effective Oct. 2, 2023. He will replace Tom Salmon, who announced earlier this year that he would retire from his roles as CEO and chairman. Salmon said he will remain with the company through the end of the calendar year in an advisory capacity to ensure a smooth transition.
In addition, the board elected Stephen Sterrett, lead independent director, as chairman, also effective on October 2, 2023.
Currently president and CEO of Multi-Color Corp., a global provider of label solutions, Kwilinski brings to Berry nearly three decades of experience in the packaging industry and a track record of driving operational excellence, expanding margins, and managing complex global operations, said the press release. At Multi-Color, he successfully led and integrated multiple acquisitions, resulting in significant EBITDA and revenue growth while delivering above target commercial and operational synergies. Prior to that, he served as CEO of Fort Dearborn Co., a supplier of decorative labels for the beverage, food, household products, nutraceutical, paint and coatings sectors, which merged with Multi-Color in July 2021.
Kwilinski also previously served as CEO of Paperworks Industries.
“Following a comprehensive search process, the board determined that Kevin is the ideal individual to guide Berry through its next phase of growth and value creation,” said Sterrett in a prepared statement. He went on to say that Kwilinski is an Indiana native and “understands the importance of Berry Global to the state." Sterrett also noted that Kwilinski shared Berry’s values of teamwork, customer-focus and excellence, and his performance-driven leadership style, which directly aligns with Berry’s culture. “He has distinguished himself over the course of his career as a disciplined operator with a focus on revenue growth and cost management. We are confident that he will be an outstanding CEO with the skills necessary to achieve our strategic objectives and accelerate shareholder value.”
“I am excited to join Berry, a company with a proud 56-year history and a reputation for excellence in the packaging industry,” said Kwilinski. “What attracted me to Berry is its ability to support customers at every stage of the product development process and deliver the most innovative solutions in the market. The efforts that Tom and the team have made over the last several years to pivot Berry’s portfolio into higher-growth markets, including food service, health and beauty, dispensing, and pharmaceuticals, have created a strong foundation for future growth, and I am eager to capitalize on the opportunities ahead.”
Kwilinski holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from Greenville College and a master’s degree in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan.
In other developments, Berry Global was recently in the news when it reported that it would close five plants in addition to 15 that had been previously announced.