October 20, 2011
James A. Rubright is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of RockTenn (NYSE:RKT), one of North America’s leading manufacturers of paperboard, containerboard and consumer and corrugated packaging. After the first ten years of Rubright’s leadership, RockTenn underwent a transformation that made it the most profitable company in the industry measured by return on sales. In 2011, RockTenn acquired Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, the second largest producer of containerboard and corrugated packaging in North America. The acquisition tripled RockTenn’s size to approximately $10 billion in revenues and 26,000 employees in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Argentina. Before joining RockTenn as CEO in 1999, he served as Executive Vice President of Sonat, Inc., a diversified energy company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. At Sonat, Rubright was the head of Sonat’s interstate natural gas pipeline and energy marketing businesses. Prior to 1994, he was a partner in the law firm of King & Spalding.
In 2009 Rubright was named as the first ever Global CEO of the Year for the forest products industry by RISI, the leading information provider for the forest products industry, and Executive Papermaker of the Year by PaperAge, the leading industry publication for paper industry professionals. In 2007 he served as Chairman of the Board of the American Forest amp;& Paper Association, the national trade association of the forest, pulp, paper, paperboard and wood products industry, of which he continues as a director. Rubright is a director of AGL Resources, Inc., an energy company, and Forestar Group Inc., a real estate and natural resources company. He received a B.A. degree from Yale College and a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia Law School. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, Mary, and their two boys, who are the youngest of his six children.