Personalities (updated March 31, 2019)

Seungyong Yi joins Toray Europe as Sales Manager

Seungyong Yi joined Toray Europe as Sales Manager on February 13th after working in sales for Toray for a decade in the Asia Pacific Region (except Japan).

Seungyong Yi

“I am excited to be in the Czech Republic,” he said. “Although I am Korean, I moved to Tokyo after high school to finish my education, and then joined Toray.” Mr. Yi is 35 years old.

From his experience in the Asia Pacific region and his early strategy meetings in the Czech Republic, Mr. Yi believes that the labels and packaging market is a perfect market segment to pursue with waterless printing technology. “This is a market that is growing,” he says, “and they demand very high quality and consistency. This is something that waterless offset technology delivers better than conventional offset since there is less dot gain, so the print resolution actually looks higher than it is.”

Mr. Yi also points out that in labels and packaging, as compared to general commercial print and newspapers, the cost of substrates is quite high. “They are often using metallized paper and plastics,” he says, “and with waterless offset, there is much less make ready waste. That cost savings adds up quickly with these more expensive substrates. Plus, with waterless printing, you have more consistency not only through the duration of the run, but from run to run. This is incredibly important in labels and packaging, since these jobs are re-run very frequently and must match each other to maintain brand integrity.”

One area he would like to see better developed in Europe is more concern about environmental sustainability in Europe. “Quality and productivity are the two key selling points for waterless offset,” he says. “Environmental sustainability is an additional benefit. As we move into the future, I hope we can see more emphasis put on the value of helping to reduce the environmental impact of print.”

J.C. Penney taps new CFO as retailer fights falling Sales

Bill Wafford, previously Finance Chief at Vitamin Shoppe, will take the job effective April 8, 2019

By guest authorTatyana Shumsky. She is Deputy Editor of CFO Journal, the Wall Street Journal’s corporate finance team. She writes about accounting, regulation and chief financial officers. Previously she covered commodities for the Wall Street Journal’s markets team

J.C. Penney Co. named a new finance chief on March 26, 2019, filling the post after a nearly six-month vacancy as the retailer battles falling sales and searches for a turnaround strategy.

The Plano, Texas-based retailer said Bill Wafford will become finance chief effective April 8. Mr. Wafford has served as CFO at Vitamin Shoppe Inc. since June 2018 and was previously the company’s senior vice president for strategy and business development.

“Bill brings extraordinary depth and breadth of experience to our executive team. His first-hand knowledge and understanding of financial turnarounds will help J.C. Penney deliver improved results and drive profitable growth,” Jill Soltau, J.C. Penney’s chief executive, said in a statement.

A J.C. Penney spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the company’s press release and regulatory filing.

J.C. Penney shares rose 3.29 % in after-hours trading, after closing the day unchanged at USD 1.52 a share.

Mr. Wafford joins J.C. Penney as the retailer has struggled to revive flagging sales, even though consumer spending has ticked higher. The company reported a 9.5 % drop in fiscal fourth-quarter net sales to USD 3.67 billion, compared with USD 4.05 billion a year earlier. Earnings for the period, which ended Feb. 2, totalled USD 75 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with USD 242 million, or 77 cents a share, in the same period the previous year.

Ms. Soltau, who joined J.C. Penney in October from Joann Stores, has already made swift moves aimed at stabilizing the company. These include a 13 % cut to inventory in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. The company also has shut more stores, moved to discontinue selling major appliances and make furniture available only online in the U.S.

As Mr. Wafford picks up the CFO mantle, he should prioritize reducing expenses, said Jeff Van Sinderen, analyst at B. Riley FBR Inc. There is potential for the company to close more stores, sell underlying real estate and reduce debt, he said.

The retailer also could pursue a financial restructuring to boost its balance sheet, though that would require all parties to agree on plans, which is “rarely easy,” Mr. Van Sinderen said.

“JCP has substantial work to do to fight its way back to relevance,” he said.

Mr. Wafford, who was a partner in the advisory practice group of KPMG LLP from 2015 to 2017, succeeds interim CFO Michael Fung, who will continue to serve as interim controller of the company, J.C. Penney said in a regulatory filing.

Former CFO Jeffrey Davis left J.C. Penney in October after roughly a year in the post to become finance chief at QVC owner Qurate Retail Group.

SONGWON Industrial Group welcomes a new member to its Board of Directors

SONGWON Industrial Co., Ltd. announced that Markus Oppliger was appointed to its Board of Directors at SONGWON’s Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting (AGM) held in Ulsan, Korea on March 22.

Markus Oppliger

“We are very pleased to have Markus Oppliger join us as the newest member of our Board,” said Maurizio Butti, CEO. “His skills and experience combined with his broad international perspective will be a real asset as SONGWON continues to grow as a specialty chemicals leader.”

Swiss-born Oppliger, fills the vacancy on the Board left by Yung Ku Ha who resigned his position at the end of 2018.

Commenting, Jongho Park, Chairman of the Board said: “SONGWON’s Board of Directors would like to express its great appreciation to Mr. Yung Ku Ha for his valuable contributions and service to the Group over the past three years, and wish him all the best and much success in all his future endeavors.”

The newly elected Board of Directors now comprises three executive members (Maurizio Butti, Hans-Peter Wüest and Choung-Sik Kim) and four non-executive members (Jongho Park, Dieter Morath, Gerhard Schlosser and Markus Oppliger) and as per Korean regulations, this is equivalent to five inside directors and two outside directors. Markus Oppliger will serve as an outside director.