13 October 2022

Changes in Pro Carton and Cepi Cartonboard Management

Mr. Bianchi will follow Horst Bittermann who stepped down from his position after four years in office. Horst Bittermann will head a consultation and reorganization process and hold the position of Director General for Pro Carton. Winfried Mühling will continue to serve Pro Carton in the role of Marketing & Communication Director.

In Krakow, members of both industry associations CEPI Cartonboard and Pro Carton have expressed their intention to explore the possibility to join into one strong association under the name Pro Carton. The main objective is to move closer together for more effectiveness, efficiency and voice of representation through new specific work streams, Marketing & Communications and Public Affairs. The consultation process with the responsible resource, the Director General, has already started and should be completed in 2023.

The new organization will allow a stronger alignment of activities, drive synergies, strengthen the voice of the industry and enforce stronger member engagement.

Michele Bianchi, President of Pro Carton and Cepi Cartonboard: "We are convinced that the new organisation will be the right platform for the future of the European cartonboard and folding carton industry. With stronger member engagement, cooperation across industry borders, and closer collaboration with ECMA, we are confident our union will support the sustainable growth of our industry."

MICHELE BIANCHI – RDM GROUP CEO and President of Pro Carton and Cepi Cartonboard
Since 2016 CEO of RDM Group, the leading producer in the recycled cartonboard business and the largest producer in Italy, France, The Netherlands and in the Iberian Peninsula.

After completing his Paper and Technology Studies and a Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering from Pisa University, Mr Bianchi started his professional career in the packaging sector in Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget-SCA, acquired in 2012 by DS Smith, a leading provider of corrugated packaging. He spent 15 years in several senior management positions, including eight years of international experience, prior to joining RDM Group.

Today Mr Bianchi has a rooted and valuable knowledge of packaging sector dynamics and trends, and he has developed extensive skills in the management of complex organizations.

HORST BITTERMANN – Director General of Pro Carton
Since September 2022, Horst Bittermann has been Director General of Pro Carton the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Mr. Bittermann, master of business administration and socio-ecological economics, has years of experience in the packaging industry as Director of marketing & communications and sales at MM Group. He previously worked in the retail industry in different senior sales, marketing, project and HR roles.

Mr. Bittermann has extensive expertise in the packaging industry and its drivers, as well as in-depth knowledge of marketing, communications, sustainability, innovation, sales and stakeholder management, including acquisition and integration.