Johns Manville (JM), a Berkshire Hathaway company, today announced that Charles L. "Jerry" Henry (63), chairman and chief executive officer, will retire June 1, 2004. Upon his retirement, Steven B. Hochhauser (43), president and chief operating officer, will assume the role of chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Henry joined JM as chairman, president and CEO in 1996. Prior to that, Henry was the chief financial officer and executive vice president for DuPont, where he had a successful 33-year career. At Johns Manville, Henry was instrumental in leading a restructuring of the business which included 16 acquisitions and an emphasis on new product development. He also led a sales process that culminated in the purchase of the company by Berkshire Hathaway in February 2001. The acquisition by Berkshire, together with the strategic restructuring in the late 1990s, has positioned JM to enjoy the growth opportunities that accompany strong financial viability.
"Jerry has been a tremendous leader through an extremely trying time for the company. He has taken JM from a very difficult past to a bright and prosperous future. He was an instrumental part of my decision to purchase JM and I tried my hardest to convince him not to retire. However, I was no match for his wife, Kay, and their desire to start this new phase of their life after 42 years of business leadership," said Warren E. Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. "I was persuaded to accept his retirement because Jerry has cultivated a strong successor and a deep management team. I have great confidence in Steve Hochhauser's leadership integrity and professionalism and I look forward to working closely with him."
Hochhauser began his career at JM in 2001 as senior vice president of the Engineered Products Group, one of the company's four strategic business units. He was promoted to president and COO in September 2002. Prior to joining JM, Hochhauser was with Honeywell International (formerly AlliedSignal), where his last role was as vice president and general manager of Engineered Applications & Solutions, a $750 million global business. Hochhauser's career at AlliedSignal began in 1992. From 1987 to 1992 he held several positions at United Technologies and prior to that, he spent four years with Rockwell International. Hochhauser graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1983.
Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B) company, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality building and specialty products. In business since 1858, the Denver-based company has sales in excess of $2 billion and holds leadership positions in all of the key markets that it serves. Johns Manville employs about 8,500 people and operates 43 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China. Additional information can be found at http://www.jm.com.