Ryan to retire and Saab to become International Paper general counsel

Published 5:58 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2022

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International Paper announced Thursday, May 12, that Sharon R. Ryan, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, will retire effective June 30, and Joseph R. Saab has been elected to fill those roles after that point.

Joseph R. Saab

“Sharon has been an exceptional business partner and mentor throughout her 34 years of service,” International Paper Chairman and CEO Mark S. Sutton said. “I appreciate all her accomplishments and contributions and wish her health and happiness in the years ahead.”

An IP press release continued by noting that Ryan joined the company in 1988 and was elected senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary in 2011. She previously served in a variety of legal roles, including as chief ethics and compliance officer. She has been honored for her many contributions in the community, most recently for establishing the IP Signature Pro Bono Initiative, which advocates for equal justice for people who lack access and resources.

Saab becomes senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary effective July 1.

After working several years as an environmental lawyer, Saab joined the company in 2001 as legal counsel for Environment, Health and Safety. Since then, he has served in a number of roles in the legal department, including chief counsel, Global Governance and Compliance, and general counsel, Papers the Americas. 

In 2014, he was named associate general counsel for Industrial Packaging and Latin America, and his responsibilities were expanded to include EMEA and Russia in 2018. 

In 2019, he was appointed vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant corporate secretary, and his recent responsibilities have included Enterprise Corporate Law and Operational Excellence, as well as overseeing support for and advising the Board of Directors.

“Throughout his time with IP, Joe has proven himself to be an effective and capable leader,” Sutton stated. “I have every confidence that he will provide the legal expertise and leadership we need as he takes on this new role and joins our senior lead team.”