Ward Dickson

Audit Committee Member


Current public company boards: Ameren

Executive experience: Ward Dickson is a retired public company CFO with extensive experience driving profitable growth and shareholder value in publicly held global manufacturing and technology companies. Ward’s career reflects a demonstrated track record of driving results through portfolio rationalization, execution of large scale M&A, and successful transformation initiatives. With eight years as a CFO of a large public company, Ward brings deep financial experience and leadership in capital markets, capital structure and capital allocation, investor relations, portfolio management, risk management, controls, and SEC reporting.

In June 218, Ward joined the board of directors of Ameren Corp (NYSE: AEE). He is chair of the finance committee and a member of the audit and risk committee

Until his retirement in December of 221, Ward was the executive vice president and chief financial officer of WestRock, a Fortune 2 manufacturing company with revenues of $19B and 5, employees worldwide. During Ward’s tenure as CFO of WestRock and its predecessor company RockTenn, revenues grew from $9B to $19B and EBITDA grew from $1.2B to more than $3B. Ward was instrumental in the $16B equity value merger of MWV and RockTenn (where Ward was CFO) that formed WestRock in 215. At the completion of the merger, Ward developed the company’s $1B synergy and performance improvement goal. He led these cost reduction efforts across the company and achieved the goal ahead of the timeline set at the completion of the merger. Ward led the transformation of the company’s portfolio through his leadership in the completion of 2 acquisitions valued at more than $9B, the tax-free spin-off of the company’s specialty chemicals business (Ingevity), the sale of the non-core home, health and beauty business for $1B and the monetization of the company’s real estate development portfolio. Ward developed and executed the company’s capital allocation framework and investor relations’ strategy. In addition, Ward led WestRock’s procurement, logistics, forestry and fiber sourcing teams. He also chaired the WestRock Foundation.

Prior to joining RockTenn in 213 as its chief financial officer, Ward was senior vice president of finance for Cisco Systems. Ward led the finance teams supporting the company’s global sales organization, its $1B Cisco Services business, and Cisco Capital, the company’s captive financing subsidiary. Ward was responsible for financial support for all commercial activities across the company such as complex contract negotiations with customers around the globe that included Cisco’s entire portfolio of hardware, software, professional services, and vendor financing offerings. Ward joined Cisco through the acquisition of Scientific Atlanta in 26. He played a leadership role in the acquisition integration. Prior to the acquisition by Cisco, Ward spent 15 years with Scientific Atlanta in roles with increasing responsibility. Ward developed the
financial model to insource cable settop manufacturing into a greenfield manufacturing facility in Juarez, Mexico. The facility ultimately manufactured products that supported 9% of the company’s revenue. Ward developed vendor financing strategies to penetrate international markets and served as a board member for the
company’s joint venture in China.

Ward started his career with General Electric and spent seven years in the company’s manufacturing and financial services businesses. He completed General Electric’s Financial Management Program (FMP).

Additional information: Ward attended Indiana University Bloomington and holds a bachelor of science degree in finance. Ward was recognized as CFO of the Year in 216 by the University of Georgia’s Terry School of Business CFO Roundtable and again in 218 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.