By Boyce Thompson. Ray Kennedy, one of the most admired executives in the industry, died unexpectedly of an apparent heart attack in early February. Kennedy, 60, was president and COO of Masco Corp., a $10 billion manufacturer and installer of building products with more than 60,000 employees. Masco's brands include Delta Faucets and Merillat cabinetry, among many others.

"Ray was a leader who was loved, admired, and respected by all who knew him. He will be greatly missed by his family, many friends, and business associates," says Masco Chairman and CEO Richard A. Manoogian, who assumed Kennedy's responsibilities on an interim basis.

Kennedy joined Masco in 1978 as president of the plumbing products division, a position he held until 1989 when he moved to corporate headquarters. A devout Catholic, Kennedy was very active in charity activities. He was honored by The City of Hope in 1998 with its Spirit of Life Award for distinguished service.