Crown Central alters executive tasks

June 02, 1994|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Sun Staff Writer

Crown Central Petroleum Corp., a Baltimore-based gasoline refiner and marketer, yesterday announced the hiring of a new chief financial officer and the shifting of corporate responsibilities of two other executives as part of the company's effort to cultivate possible successors to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Henry A. Rosenberg Jr.

"We're trying to get people more involved in the overall operation," Mr. Rosenberg said. "We're trying to push down the responsibility to get more people involved."

However, the 64-year-old Mr. Rosenberg, who has been chairman for 18 years, said he has no immediate plans to retire, and that no person or group of people have been designated as potential successors. "Everybody is up for the top job as long as they are able and willing," he said.

The appointments, which were approved by the company's board of directors, were effective yesterday.

The company's new chief financial officer is Phillip W. Taff, 52, who has worked in a number of financial positions for PHH Corp. of Hunt Valley, Greyhound Lines Inc. of Dallas and American Trading and Production Corp. of Baltimore -- the company that owns 51 percent of Crown. He also was given the title of senior vice president-finance.

The company's last chief financial officer was Theodore Jackson, who retired in 1991.

Edward L. "Ned" Rosenberg, 39, who had been senior vice president-finance and administration, is now the senior vice president-administration, corporate development and long range planning.

Mr. Rosenberg, who is the son of the company chairman, has worked for Crown Central for 14 years, holding senior management positions in Baltimore, Houston and London.

John E. Wheeler Jr., 41, who had been vice president/treasurer and controller, is now senior vice president/treasurer and controller. Mr. Wheeler, who has worked for the company for 18 )) years, has held senior management positions in accounting and finance.

Crown had revenues of $1.7 billion in 1993 and is the 27th-largest oil company in the country ranked by sales. It owns 400 gas stations and convenience stores in seven mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states. It has about 3,000 workers nationwide, with 275 in Maryland.

It owns and operates two refineries in Texas that have a total capacity of 150,000 barrels a day.

Crown has lost money in the last three years, but it made a profit of $8.7 million in the first three months of this year.

The company has been changing executives in recent years, and yesterday's announcement was "nothing that dramatic," according to William D. Hyler, the energy analyst for Oppenheimer & Co., a New York-based securities company.

But he added that the company has cut costs significantly in the last four years, particularly with the closing of more than 300 retail outlets since 1989.

"I think they are doing a very good job in the last four years," Mr. Hyler said.

Crown's Class A stock has fallen from about $22.875 a share on April 18 to yesterday's closing price of $18.50 a share, down 12.5 cents from the day before.

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