Finland-born Pesonen, who has worked as UPM-Kymmene Corporation CEO since 2004, will start his chairmanship on 1 January 2012.
Current CEPI chairman Berry Wiersum will take the post of vice-chairman over the next two years to ensure a smooth transition.
CEPI works to promote the European paper industry sector by regrouping the pulp and paper industry and promoting its achievements.
In his first statement through CEPI, Pesonen urged the European paper industry to maintain its renewable and sustainable status to remain competitive.
“European consumers are most definitely interested in seeing positive progress in substituting oil-based products with renewable bio-products,” said Pesonen.
“Therefore European policy makers should ensure a competitive operating environment for this industry.”