PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM) on Thursday said Ryan Marshall, PulteGroup's president, has been named CEO, effective immediately. He succeeds Richard J. Dugas, Jr., the company's CEO since 2003, who will remain with the company as executive chairman of the board through the company's 2017 annual meeting of shareholders, when he had previously announced he intended to retire.
Additionally, William J. (Bill) Pulte, grandson of company founder, William J. Pulte, has been elected to the board. PulteGroup also said it has entered into an agreement with founder Pulte and "certain related parties" who own 30.7 million shares, or 9% of the company, that stipulates that the signatories will vote in favor of any board nominees and against any nominees not nominated by the board so long as Bill Pulte serves on the board. The signatories to the agreement own an aggregate of 30.7 million, or approximately 9.0%, of the currently outstanding shares of the Company.
Board member Debra Kelly-Ennis will resign effective immediately after two decades of service.
"After a thorough evaluation of internal and external candidates, the board determined that Ryan was clearly the best-qualified person to lead PulteGroup as it continues to implement its Value Creation strategy," said Patrick J. O'Leary, leader of the independent five member CEO search committee of the PulteGroup Board. "Over his more than 15 year career at PulteGroup, Ryan has proven to be an outstanding leader with demonstrated success in managing home building operations through all stages of the housing cycle."
On joining the board, Bill Pulte put out a statement saying, "I am pleased with the in-depth and productive discussions I have had with Richard Dugas and the PulteGroup Board over the past several weeks. My grandfather and I fully support the company's Value Creation strategy and we appreciate management's ongoing efforts to position the company for success over the housing cycle. Further, I had the opportunity to speak with Ryan Marshall, the company's new CEO, at length, just prior to his publicly announced appointment and I am very impressed with his home building experience and overall business acumen."
Marshall is a home building veteran. He most recently served as PulteGroup's president with responsibility for the home building operations and its marketing and strategy departments. Prior to that, Mr. Marshall was EVP of home building operations. His other previous jobs included president for the company's Southeast Area, president for the Florida Area, division president in both South Florida and Orlando, and area VP of finance. In those roles, he has managed various financial and operating functions including financial reporting, land acquisition, and strategic market risk and opportunity analysis. Mr. Marshall holds a B.A. in accounting from the University of Utah and a M.B.A. from Arizona State University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.
"I am honored to lead this great organization and excited about the tremendous opportunities PulteGroup has for ongoing success," said Marshall in a statement. "Our diversified geographic footprint and broad product portfolio provide distinct competitive advantages that we will continue to leverage."
"Ryan is a skilled operating executive who thinks strategically about long-term initiatives in the context of housing industry cycles, and I am delighted by his selection as PulteGroup's next CEO," said Dugas, also in a statement. "I am confident that PulteGroup will continue to make strides under Ryan's leadership, and I look forward to working with him through a seamless transition."