Co-founder John Keppler returns to Enviva as Executive Chairman

John Keppler, Executive Chairman of the Board at Enviva
John Keppler, Executive Chairman of the Board at Enviva

Enviva Inc. (Enviva) announced that John Keppler is returning to the Company as Executive Chairman, effective April 1, 2023. Thomas Meth will continue as President and CEO, and the interim Chairman, Ralph Alexander, will now become Lead Independent Director of the Board.

This is consistent with the Board of Directors’ governance plan announced in November 2022, when Mr. Keppler stepped down as Chairman and CEO to address a heart condition.

What does Keppler’s return mean for Enviva?

With Mr. Keppler’s recovery and rehabilitation following heart surgery well underway, he is returning to the Company to support his co-founding partner and CEO, Thomas Meth. As Executive Chairman, in cooperation with Mr. Meth, he will help drive strategic corporate initiatives, growth, and interaction with key capital markets and financial stakeholders.

Keppler said, “As I shared in November, Thomas, the Board, and the leadership team are executing a proven model and strategy to create significant value for all of our stakeholders.”

“I look forward to rejoining my colleagues in this new leadership capacity to help Enviva unlock the tremendous opportunities inherent in our business. Most immediately, I look forward to seeing many of our equity and debt investors at our upcoming investor day in April, and to reengaging consistently and frequently with our financial stakeholders thereafter.”

Thomas Meth, President and Chief Executive Officer at Enviva

Commenting on Keppler’s return, Thomas Meth, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “I am very happy to welcome John back to Enviva. With his two decades of executive and Board leadership, he will help take our incredible enterprise to the next level and deliver on its potential. He is deeply respected by the Board, our management team and associates, and our key financial partners, and we are thrilled to see him rejoin the Company in good health.”

“As our CEO for nearly 18 years, John led the Company’s growth from our humble beginnings as a small start-up to a highly valued publicly traded, global enterprise. I look forward to working closely with him in his new capacity as Executive Chairman,” Meth continued.

What does Ralph bring to Enviva in the new role?

Ralph Alexander, who has been a member of the Board since 2013 and led the original private equity investment in Enviva in 2010, will transition to Lead Independent Director effective April 1, 2023, and will focus on supporting the business’ operational excellence and continue to serve as Chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

“We are incredibly thankful for Ralph Alexander’s support and leadership over the last few months as we transitioned and navigated through a pivotal time, not just for Enviva, but also for our industry and the global energy landscape. I am delighted that we will continue to benefit from his expertise and leadership as Lead Independent Director,” concluded Meth.

Mr. Meth, Mr. Keppler, and Mr. Alexander each participated in the Company’s recently announced – and now closed – PIPE transaction which ultimately yielded aggregate net proceeds of approximately $246 million to the Company. The PIPE was led by affiliates of Enviva’s two largest stockholders, Riverstone Holdings LLC and Inclusive Capital Partners, and included BTG Pactual as well as members of the Board and of Enviva’s management.

For more on this transaction, refer to the Company’s March 1st announcement here.