Gibraltar Industries (NASDAQ: ROCK) today announced that as part of a succession planning process, President and Chief Operating Officer Frank Heard will be promoted to Chief Executive Officer and appointed to the board of directors effective January 1, 2015. Brian Lipke, the Company’s current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will continue as Gibraltar’s Chairman.
Separately, Craig Hindman and Vinod Khilnani have been appointed as independent directors of the Company, effective immediately.
“Frank Heard’s hiring earlier this year was part of a multi-year strategic succession plan developed by the board,” said Mr. Lipke. “Frank’s years of experience in the building products market allowed him to ‘hit the ground running’ upon joining Gibraltar. During the six months Frank has been on board, he has visited each of our facilities, interacted with the business unit leaders and their management teams, gained an understanding of the strategic positioning of the Company and has met with many of Gibraltar’s shareholders. It is clearly evident from the results of these activities and the response from the various constituent groups that Frank is ready to assume the role of President and CEO on January 1, 2015. This will complete the next step in our succession planning process.”
“Frank has the right experience and skills necessary to drive improvements in operating performance. Already he has leveraged his cross-enterprise leadership skills, knowledge of the building products industry, and metric-driven operational focus to begin to transform our existing operations. In addition, he has begun to help each business unit become more strategic in driving product and business unit profitability, and has initiated processes that will help the business units sharpen their focus on growth and profit enhancement opportunities. These actions are all part of the strategic plan to accelerate shareholder value creation.”
Mr. Heard, age 55, has more than 25 years of experience in the building products industry. Prior to joining Gibraltar he was President, ITW Building Components Group, a division of Illinois Tool Works Inc., a Fortune 200 global diversified industrial manufacturer. As President of ITW Building Components Group he had global responsibility for the strategic direction and operational performance for 25 businesses in 18 country markets across a wide range of industry segments, including residential and commercial construction, retail and component manufacturing.
“During my first six months at Gibraltar, I have been impressed with the solid team of talented and motivated people at the Company,” said Mr. Heard. “Through their hard work, Gibraltar has been able to resize and restructure its existing businesses in line with new patterns of market demand, and further position itself for profitable growth. Now, we have an opportunity to accelerate our growth strategy and drive higher returns on capital. This can be accomplished, first, by focusing more deeply on operational excellence through seeking ways to drive complexity out of our existing businesses while adding to their capacity for innovation; and second, by thinking differently about how we allocate people and capital – both inside and beyond our existing business portfolio. I look forward to working with Brian, the board and the entire Gibraltar team to drive long-term profitable growth and enhance shareholder value.”
Source: www.morningstar.com; October 28, 2014.