Rouse promotes 8 officials, merges 2 units

CEO says the changes `will help make us more focused and efficient'

October 25, 2002|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

Rouse Co. said yesterday that it has elevated eight vice presidents to senior vice presidents and merged two divisions in the latest transition in the company's top-level management.

In the past two months, the Columbia-based real estate investment trust has announced the retirement of two top officers - Chief Operating Officer Douglas A. McGregor and Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey H. Donahue - and hired investment banker Thomas J. DeRosa, 44, from Deutsche Bank AG to be chief financial officer and vice chairman.

Management changes had previously been uncommon at the 63-year-old company, where officers often stay for decades. With many executives close in age to Anthony W. Deering, chairman and chief executive officer, analysts have said Rouse has been left with no clear successors. They have said the recent moves are an effort to set up the next generation of leadership at the company.

Deering has been at Rouse's helm since 1995 and has not said when he will retire. His long-term contract expires in January 2005, when he will be 60.

Yesterday, Deering praised the eight promoted executives, who work in a variety of capacities at the company. Rouse develops and runs shopping malls in the region and across the country and developed the planned communities of Columbia and Summerlin, Nev. It has been shifting away from ownership of other types of commercial real estate.

"These promotions and the reorganization will help make us more focused and efficient in our business," Deering said in a statement. "We now have energetic, highly experienced individuals in these key positions in the company. As a result, we should be able to continue to grow and prosper in the years ahead."

He said the structural changes were made after a "rigorous study and analysis of the company."

Rouse will merge its development and operations divisions into one asset-management group. Three asset managers will report to Duke S. Kassolis, executive vice president of asset management. Previously he was director of property operations.

Alton Scavo, executive vice president of development, will take on additional responsibilities beyond community development activities. Both were made executive vice presidents last month.

The eight new senior vice presidents are: Patricia H. Dayton, 43, treasurer; Melanie M. Lundquist, 39, controller; Gordon H. Glenn, 54, general counsel; John G. McLaughlin, 54, asset manager; Michael J. Bryant, 49, asset manager; Thomas M. Fitzpatrick, 43, asset manager; William Y. Hecht, 38, retail leasing; and F. Scott Ball, 41, retail leasing.

David Fick, a managing director and Rouse analyst for Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc., said the reshuffling was expected after the top management changed and called all of those promoted "bright and capable." He also said the merging of divisions was appropriate as Rouse does less development.

More changes are likely, he said.

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