Gelb is named chairman at United Industrial Corp. Accountant, 75, succeeds Fein

November 04, 1995|By Ellen James Martin | Ellen James Martin,SUN STAFF

United Industrial Corp., the parent firm of Cockeysville-based AAI Corp., announced the selection of Harold S. Gelb as its new board chairman yesterday.

Mr. Gelb, 75, a former senior partner for the major accounting firm of Ernst & Young, replaces Bernard Fein, who retired last month from the chairman's post and now becomes chairman emeritus.

In addition, United Industrial, based in New York, named Howard Bloch as vice chairman of the board. Mr. Bloch previously was treasurer and vice president of United Industrial.

United Industrial, a holding company whose main business is AAI -- a defense contracting firm with more than 1,500 employees -- is still seeking to fill the post of president and chief executive officer. That job has been vacant since P. David Bocksch, resigned from the job under pressure late last month. Thomas J. Carmody, United Industrial's chief financial officer, resigned at the same time.

In the wake of Mr. Bocksch's departure, United Industrial has been headed by Richard R. Erkeneff, who has run AAI for the last two years.

Yesterday, Mr. Gelb described Mr. Erkeneff as "a candidate" for permanent appointment as chief executive at United Industrial. But he said a nationwide search for the new head of the holding company continues.

United Industrial reported lower third-quarter earnings in late October, shortly after Mr. Bocksch's departure. And Mr. Gelb said yesterday that, "We're looking at the basic structure of the company with a view toward enhancing profitability."

Still, Mr. Gelb assured AAI employees that layoffs are not currently being contemplated as part of the restructuring plan.

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