When a good colleague and friend leaves



    by Massimo Medugno, DG Assocarta

    When a good colleague and friend leaves it’s always very hard. But the unexpected death of director general of Cepi, Sylvain Lhôte, aged 51, on Thursday 6 June 2019 from heart failure, it was a shock. The word helps us to ease the pain but not to understand why.

    Personally I remember to meet Sylvan during the recruiting process for Cepi. In this occasion I have appreciated his sense of humour and strategic thinking.

    Sylvain was the director general of CEPI since 2016, he brought a strong leadership to the organisation, reforming the way of working, focusing on building efficient working tools and processes, encouraging synergies and increased communication among colleagues and value chain partners.

    Sylvain brought 25 years of government and public affairs expertise, working with leading material technology and manufacturing industries on climate and energy policies, sustainability and industrial affairs, as well as competition and international trade issues. Prior to joining CEPI, Sylvain was Vice-president Governmental Affairs and Business Development in the EMEA Region for Alcoa, the aluminium and metals engineering group. He previously directed EU and sustainability affairs for the Borealis Group, in the base chemicals and plastics industry. He also chaired Fleishman Hillard’s Public Affairs practice in Europe and headed its environment department, advising major trade associations and industries in the field of sustainability policies and PA strategies.

    Sylvain was a good colleague and friend.

    With Sylvain there was often discussion of the paper industry, but also of politics and current affairs. Not only sense of humour and strategic thinking, but also charisma, endless creativity and tenacity.

    And often the discussions about politics and current affairs ended with his unmistakable laugh.

    Much more than a comment.

    And then start arguing again.