Ashton Woods' board of directors has elected a new chief executive to replace retiring Tom Krobot. Kenneth S. Balogh, the company's COO, will become the new CEO on Jan. 1.

To have an orderly transition, Krobot, 63, who has been Ashton Woods' president and CEO since 1995, will remain at the company as a senior advisor until his retirement at the end of May 2011.

"We are fortunate to have found such an experienced and talented leader within our company to assume the role of president and chief executive officer," the company's board of directors said in a news release announcing the changes. "Ken has done an excellent job in his role as chief operating officer, and we are confident that Ken's transition into this new role will be seamless.

Balogh (pronounced "baylog") worked in various executive positions at Centex Homes, now part of PulteGroup, for 16 years before going to work at Ashton Woods in 2009 as an executive vice president. He became COO last March. He has a finance degree from the University of Central Florida.

"On behalf of the entire board, the management team, and all of the employees of Ashton Woods, I would like to thank Tom for his tireless service to Ashton Woods over the past 15 years," Jerry Patava, a member of the board of directors, said in the announcement. "He led the company through a successful restructuring in 2009 and a refinancing in 2010, during a very difficult time for the home building industry. The company's success is a testament to Tom's leadership."

"[Krobot] has brought in a lot of bench strength, and we have raised capital," said Cory J. Boydston, Ashton Woods' CFO. "Now it's [about] weathering the storm and doing the best we can to keep our business moving forward."

Growth opportunities appear to be on Balogh's mind as a next step for the company.

"As our industry recovers from this unprecedented housing recession, Ashton Woods is well positioned for the challenges ahead," Balogh said in the news release. "I am eager to lead our outstanding team as we prepare for the growth opportunities that lie before us."

Teresa Burney is a senior editor for BUILDER and BIG BUILDER magazines.  

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