Rouse to step down as head of Enterprise Foundation

January 17, 1991|By Edward Gunts

Ten years after he founded the Enterprise Foundation, a non-profit organization whose goal is to provide "fit and affordable" housing for all low-income Americans who need it, James Rouse is relinquishing the title of chief executive officer, effective in July.

Trustees of the Enterprise Foundation voted earlier this week to approve the appointment of two Enterprise executives, F. Barton Harvey III and Paul C. Brophy, to succeed Mr. Rouse in his role as chief executive officer. Both will carry the title of vice chair and co-chief executive officer.

Mr. Rouse said he will retain the title of chairman of the Enterprise Foundation and will continue to devote his full time to the work of the foundation. He also will remain chief executive officer of Enterprise Development Co., the real estate development arm of the foundation.

"I'll be 77 in April," he said. "One has to recognize that this kind of activity has a time limit on it, whether you like it or not, when you get to my age. I've been wanting for several years to work out an orderly succession. I don't call it stepping down. I call it stepping aside, because I will still be working full-time as chairman."

Enterprise's affordable-housing projects and programs are under way in more than 40 cities, including Baltimore, and its development subsidiary is a consultant to developers in five countries. If anything, Mr. Rouse said, his work and travels have intensified since he moved to Enterprise from the Rouse Co., which he founded in 1939.

"I maintain a pace that is more than I should, more than I ever did at the Rouse Co.," he said. "There's a myth that surrounds you as you get older, that you have special wisdom. If you've been at things as long as I have, then you have a name, good or bad, and people want to call on you."

Mr. Harvey, 41, has been deputy chairman of the Columbia-based foundation since 1985. Before joining Enterprise, he was a managing director of corporate finance at Dean Witter Reynolds from 1974 to 1984.

Mr. Brophy, 45, was named president of the foundation in 1988. Previously, he was executive director of Pittsburgh's Urban Redevelopment Authority. The position of president will not be filled.

Mr. Rouse said Mr. Harvey and Mr. Brophy are the ideal people to replace him as chief executive officer.

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