Ryland division chief, Titus, resigns

May 12, 1994|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Sun Staff Writer

The president of the Ryland Group Inc.'s Middle Atlantic division has resigned, in a move that follows the arrival of a new chief executive late last year and sluggish mid-Atlantic sales that have drawn the nation's third-biggest homebuilder criticism from Wall Street.

Arthur L. Titus, who joined the company from rival Ryan Homes in 1990, resigned Friday, Ryland spokeswoman Anne Madison said. She said the Columbia-based company has not yet announced a replacement.

"It was his decision," Ms. Madison said. She said that R. Chad Dreier, who joined Ryland as chief executive in November, praised Mr. Titus in a meeting with employees Friday and in an internal company memorandum that said the 49-year-old regional president had led the company's biggest homebuilding division through "a difficult recessionary period."

Nonetheless, the mid-Atlantic region became a sore point for Ryland last year, even though the company had bigger problems in California. Sales of Ryland-built houses in the region, which accounts for a third of Ryland Homes' business, were off 4 percent last year. To keep the mid-Atlantic sales decline as low as 4 percent required a 32 percent gain in the fourth quarter.

"It wasn't just California," Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. analyst Barbara Allen said in December. "The mid-Atlantic is their bailiwick, and they even screwed up there."

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