- In an effort to assuage its founder, homebuilder PulteGroup handed over the reins Thursday to new CEO Ryan Marshall and gave William J. "Bill" Pulte's namesake grandson a seat on the board of directors, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- Ryan, promoted from his position as company president, replaced former CEO Richard J. Dugas Jr., who will stay on as chairman until the PulteGroup annual board meeting in May.
- As part of the shuffling of leadership, Pulte, who still owns 9% of PulteGroup, agreed to support any board nominee as long as his grandson has a vote as a board member.
Earlier this year, disappointed with the company's stock performance with Dugas at the helm, the founding Pulte bristled at the pushback he received after demanding Dugas be replaced immediately. In response to Pulte's demands, the PulteGroup leadership announced that Dugas would retire in a year. Incensed, Pulte wrote a letter to the board in which he stated that his initial decision to support Dugas as CEO was "perhaps the biggest mistake" of his career. During Dugas' reign, PulteGroup revenues took a 35% dive in an environment that saw competitors Lennar and D.R. Horton increase sales, according to The Journal.
During the height of the feud between the Pulte family and the company leadership, Pulte said he disagreed with the "ValueCreation" strategy Dugas set in motion, but has now given his support to the concept in the wake of the homebuilder's decision to replace Dugas with Marshall and add his grandson to the board. Pulte's grandson, also Bill Pulte, said he met with Marshall, according to Builder, and was "very impressed" with his construction and business experience. This addressed another Pulte family complaint that Dugas, who came from a marketing and operations background lacked the construction experience necessary to lead the company.
PulteGroup was the country's largest homebuilder prior to the housing crash but has started to regain some lost ground, as evidenced by its reported 2015 revenue of $5.982 billion, up 2.7% from 2014, and a 4.2% increase in profits.