Bethesda’s Enviva Inc. (NYSE: EVA) (“Enviva,” “our,” “we,” or the “Company”), the world’s largest producer of industrial wood pellets for use as a renewable and sustainable energy source, announced that Thomas Meth, Enviva’s President, has been appointed the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and will become a member of Enviva’s board of directors (the “Board”), while retaining his title as President. The Company also announced that John Keppler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, is expected to assume the role of Executive Chairman, consistent with the succession plan developed by the Board. Prior to doing so, Mr. Keppler will be stepping down from his responsibilities to pursue medical and surgical treatment to address a cardiac valve issue. The Company expects Mr. Keppler, who co-founded Enviva in 2004 with Mr. Meth, to remain available to the Company, and to return in the active Executive Chairman role early in 2023.
Additionally, the Company announced that Ralph Alexander, who has been a member of the Board since 2013, will fulfill Mr. Keppler’s duties as Chairman of the Board until Mr. Keppler’s return, when Mr. Alexander is expected to become Lead Independent Director. “After careful consideration, I have decided with my medical team and family to step back and focus on my heart condition,” said Mr. Keppler. “The Board and I are delighted that Thomas Meth will serve as our next CEO. Thomas has been my closest business partner in building Enviva into the great company it is today, and I know he will continue to excel in leading Enviva’s growth trajectory as we execute our plan for the future. Thomas is an exceptionally skilled leader who has full command of all facets of the Company and has earned the respect of our employees, customers, investors, and other key stakeholders.”
“We have had the privilege of working with Thomas since Enviva’s earliest days and, during our succession planning process, the Board has had the opportunity to see firsthand Thomas’s substantial contributions to the Company and the leadership team. He is the right person to lead Enviva into the future,” said Ralph Alexander. “We are especially pleased that John is expected to continue as Executive Chairman when he completes what we expect to be a full recovery.”
“All of us at Enviva wish John the best as he prioritizes his health and full recovery, and we look forward to his return as Executive Chairman,” said Thomas Meth. “We are laser-focused on executing the previously announced business plan and are on track to deliver results for 2022 in line with the expectations we outlined recently on our third-quarter earnings call. The world wants cost-effective, ready-to-deploy bio-based alternatives to fossil fuels, from secure sources, and that’s exactly what we offer.”
Mr. Keppler concluded, “I am incredibly proud of the executive team we have built and the tremendous leadership they have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate, not only in building a remarkable business, but also in delivering exceptional shareholder value. Enviva is a company with a robust backlog of fully contracted long-term revenues, a strong growth profile with a large and growing high-quality customer base around the globe, and a durable and sustainable cash flow generation capability. I am confident this trajectory will continue under Thomas, as the team grows and scales Enviva’s manufacturing and customer footprint, and helps customers accelerate their transition from traditional fossil fuel feedstocks for power and heat generation and for hard-to-abate industries. Enviva has a tremendous team leading this company and I look forward to joining them for our investor day and launch of full-year 2023 guidance early in the new year.”
Brief Bio on Thomas Meth
Mr. Meth is a co-founder of Enviva and, prior to his appointment as CEO, he held the position of President, working closely with Mr. Keppler, with responsibility for the Company’s activities from the forest, through our operations and logistics, and ultimately to our customers’ discharge. Mr. Meth has led Enviva’s business development, sales and commercial customer relations, fiber procurement, and sustainability functions. In addition, he has had oversight over the broader plant and port operations and global public affairs initiatives. Mr. Meth holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration in Austria as well as an M.B.A. from The Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at The University of Virginia.