Beazer Homes USA has hired a replacement for the chief accounting officer it fired more than six months ago for attempting to destroy documents in relation to the investigation into its mortgage origination business.
Robert L. Salomon will become the company's new senior vice president, chief accounting officer, and controller effective Feb. 11, 2008.
Salomon told Big Builder on Friday, Jan. 18 that he is looking forward to the challenges "I think it's a good opportunity to go into the corporate offices and maybe help them turn the corner," he said. "They [Beazer] are a fine company, and sometimes bad things happen, and we will get through it and be ready for when the market turns around."
Salomon will drop into Beazer at a critical time for the builder. He replaces Michael T. Rand, who was fired in June in the middle of a federal investigation into the company's mortgage origination business.
Salomon is currently at Ashton Woods USA, another Atlanta-based builder, where he has served as CFO and treasurer. He will leave that job on Feb. 8. Jerry Patava, CEO of the Great Gulf Group of Cos., an affiliate of Ashton Woods' primary owners, will serve as interim CFO at Ashton Woods.
Before signing on at Ashton Woods, Salomon worked in accounting and finance roles at MDC Holdings. The certified public accountant has 24 years of financial management experience--16 of which are in the home building industry. He has a bachelor's of business administration from the University of Iowa.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome someone of Bob's caliber to our management team," Allan P. Merrill, executive vice president and CFO, said in a prepared release. "His combination of accounting, financial management, and industry experience will be extremely valuable as we manage through the current challenges in the housing market and position the company to realize the opportunities that will arise when our markets begin to recover."
In October, an independent audit committee reported it had found evidence that employees of the company's mortgage subsidiary had violated U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations, particularly related to down-payment assistance programs. The company said it planned to negotiate a settlement with the government in that case.
Beazer hasn't reported full earnings since last spring because it said it has to restate its earnings for several years back in the wake of another audit committee finding that it had not properly accounted reserves. The company faces a March deadline to report earnings.