Paillot To Leave BIC APP

Change Effective December 31

Nicolas PaillotAs first reported in a Breaking News Alert on Friday, BIC APP, the parent division of Counselor Top 40 supplier Norwood (asi/74400) & BIC Graphic North America (asi/40480), has announced that CEO Nicolas Paillot will leave the company at the end of this year. Paillot will be replaced by Edgar Hernandez, who is currently BIC International's general manager for developing markets. Emmanuel Bruno, who was named vice president and general manager for Norwood & BIC Graphic North America earlier this year, will continue in his current role.

Paillot, according to a statement, is leaving BIC APP to "pursue external business interests" and will consult with the company through March of next year to assist in the leadership transition. A member of Counselor's Power 50, Paillot has been at BIC for nearly two decades, joining the company when he was 23 years old. He was named CEO of BIC APP in 2009 after playing an integral role in BIC's acquisition of Norwood Promotional Products.

Since the roughly $150 million deal (including assumed liabilities) was completed, Norwood & BIC Graphic has struggled through a challenging integration and the implementation of a new ERP platform. "Obviously, we regret any frustration we caused our customers as we completed the manufacturing integration," Paillot said, in an interview with Counselor last year. "Hindsight is always 20/20 and there are always things you wish you could do differently."

For the first nine months of 2012, sales at BIC APP fell by 7.7% compared to the same period last year. BIC APP, which includes Norwood & BIC Graphic North America, as well as Europe-based Antalis Promotional Products, is projecting its 2012 sales to decrease by 8% on a comparative basis, according to a recent earnings statement. Ranked by Counselor as the fourth largest supplier in the industry, Norwood & BIC Graphic reported 2011 North American ad specialty sales of $350, a 9.1% year-over-year decrease.