Coachmen Industries Inc. today (Aug. 28) announced that Chairman and CEO Claire C. Skinner, daughter of co-founder Tom Corson, has elected to take early retirement and resign from the board.
In a series of related actions, Coachmen announced that William P. Johnson, formerly lead director, has been elected the non-executive chairman and CFO Richard Lavers has been named the new CEO. In addition, Colleen Zuhl, previously a vice president and the company’s controller, has been named CFO.
“We all express great appreciation to Claire Skinner for her dedicated service to the company over the past 23 years,” Johnson said. “The board wishes her nothing but the best in her retirement.
“Rick Lavers has a broad and deep background in a variety of senior management positions both at Coachmen and during his prior career that have prepared him for his new responsibilities. He joined the company in 1997 as the first general counsel, and during the last nine years has developed an intimate knowledge of Coachmen’s businesses and management team.”
Lavers noted: “Coachmen has great employees, great brands, and great dealers. Our clear focus is on restoring profitability, but that is not enough. Our goal is to be a leader in our industry. We will hit the ground running, with a sense of urgency from day one.”
Elkhart, Ind.-based Coachmen reported a net loss of $19.4 million from continuing operations during its last fiscal year, ended Dec. 31. The company instituted an intensive recovery plan designed to bring the firm back to profitability.
In its 2006 second quarter, ended June 30, Coachmen incurred an 18% decline in sales, but did show a net profit of $300,000 versus a net loss of $1.5 million the year prior.
The board also announced that the quarterly dividend will be reduced from 6 cents per share to 3 cents per share, and that a share repurchase of up to one million shares has been authorized.