MORRISVILLE, N.C., Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Alliance One International, Inc. (NYSE: AOI) today announced that Pieter Sikkel, current President of the Company and a member of the Board of Directors, will assume the role of President and Chief Executive Officer on March 1, 2013, and that Mark W. Kehaya, currently Chairman of the Board of Directors and Interim Chief Executive Officer, will continue as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors and will assist in the transition.
"This transition in leadership marks an end to our significant restructuring that began in December of 2010, and the Company once again has a firm foundation. We want to thank Mark for his leadership and efforts in driving the restructuring and the refocusing of the business," said William Sheridan, Lead Independent Director.
Mr. Kehaya added, "The Board of Directors and I are extremely pleased to appoint Pieter to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer." Mr. Sikkel has served Alliance One and predecessor companies for over 30 years as China Country Manager, Asia Regional Director, Executive Vice President – Business Strategy and Relationship Management, and most recently as President of the Company and a member of the Board of Directors.
Mr. Kehaya continued, "Pieter's exceptional experience, strategic insight and extensive industry knowledge make him well positioned to lead our global team, both to continue and expand on the Company's key initiatives and innovations, and to further strengthen the Company's market position by delivering additional value to our shareholders, customers and growers. I would personally like to thank all of our employees for their efforts, loyalty and talents that they have brought to bear during the last two years."Mr. Sikkel stated, "I'd like to thank Mark Kehaya for his excellent work leading the restructuring of the Company. As a result of his efforts, Alliance One is in a substantially stronger position to address the varied challenges and opportunities of this industry. Alliance One remains firmly focused on both the present and the future. From seed, through leaf and sales, we are committed to supplying the product type and quality that our customers require, to providing the highest quality service, and to being the lowest cost supplier in every market in which we operate. In addition, through our continued emphasis on agronomy ingenuity, we remain focused on improving farmer income and sustainable global supply security. We have also instituted programs that are targeted at reducing operating cycle and improving financial metrics, and through such initiatives are seeking to create and capitalize on opportunities that should enhance shareholder value." Alliance One International, Inc. is a leading independent leaf tobacco merchant serving the world's cigarette manufacturers. For more information on Alliance One, visit the Company's website at www.aointl.com. This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about future financial and operating results, plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based on the current beliefs and expectations of management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated expected or projected. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements: changes in the timing of anticipated shipments, changes in anticipated geographic product sourcing, political instability in sourcing locations, currency and interest rate fluctuations, shifts in the global supply and demand position for tobacco products, and the impact of regulation and litigation on customers. Additional factors that could cause AOI's results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements can be found in AOI's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") which are available at the SEC's Internet site ( http://www.sec.gov). SOURCE Alliance One International, Inc.