John A. Georges

John A. Georges
John A. Georges

For corporate leadership in guiding International Paper Company to become a world leader in forest and paper products.

John Georges left an indelible mark on the International Paper Company, which he served as President and COO from 1981 to 1984, and CEO and Chairman from 1984 until 1996, when he retired. Under his leadership, IP became a world leader in
forest and paper products.

During his tenure, International Paper’s sales quadrupled to $20 billion, 1995 net income of $1.2 billion was 10 times the 1984 level, and the market value of the company’s outstanding stock increased by nearly 800 percent. Georges was a driving force behind the company’s modernization of its mills and product line as well as its numerous acquisitions within the industry. Under Georges watch, the company acquired the Hammermill Paper Company and expanded its manufacturing operations to Europe and the Pacific Rim.

Georges earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois in 1951 and later an MBA from Drexel University. In 2003, International Paper established the John A. Georges Distinguished Professorship in the University
of Illinois College of Business.

The Managing Director of Greenwich Chemical Partners, LLC, and an Industrial Partner of One Rock Capital Partners, LLC, Georges has served as a Director Ryder Systems, Inc., and AK Steel Holding Corporation.

Starting his career with DuPont in 1951, Georges became the Assistant Sales Manager for Industrial Chemicals in 1967. During the next 12 years, he held various positions, including Planning Manager of Industrial Chemicals, Director of Manufacturing of Biochemicals, Chief Environmental Officer, Assistant General Manager of Industrial Chemicals, and General Manager of Textile Fibers. Early in his career, he also served in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps (1953-1955).

Georges was Director of the New York Stock Exchange from 1987 to 1993, a Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (1986-1992), a member of the Policy and Planning Committee of the Business Roundtable (1987-1996), Chairman of the National Council on Economic Education (1991-1992) and Chairman of the Paper Institute (1991-1992). In 1992, President George Bush appointed Georges to the President’s Council on Environmental Quality and in 1993 to the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations.

Georges is a member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board, serving as board president from 1995 to 1997. He has also been a member of several non-corporate organizations—The Business Council, The Trilateral Commission, trustee of the Public Policy Institute of the Business Council of New York State, and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Harvard University Center for Risk Analysis.


  • BS, 1951, Chemical Engineering, ILLINOIS
  • MBA, 1957, Drexel University