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The board of directors of Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. today (March 9) announced Elden L. Smith has been named president and chief executive officer, succeeding Edward B. Caudill who has stepped down.
The move comes a week after the Riverside, Calif.-based company reported a net loss of $54.7 million for its third quarter, ended Jan. 23.
According to a press release, Smith, 64, joined the company in 1968 and held several positions, including serving as senior vice president of Fleetwood’s recreational vehicle group until his retirement in 1997.
Under his guidance the RV Group’s revenues grew from $39 million to more than $1.3 billion.
Smith has also been appointed as a member of the board of directors of Fleetwood, with a term expiring at the Sept. 2007 annual meeting of shareholders. Thomas B. Pitcher will continue as the non-executive chairman of the board.
Pitcher said, “Elden is a well known and respected leader in the RV industry, and he possesses a solid understanding of the manufactured housing business. He brings a wealth of knowledge back to Fleetwood, and we believe his experience and strong dealer relationships will enable him to make an immediate positive impact.
“During his nearly 30 years with the company, Elden was appreciated as an exemplary team builder. Many of us on the board had the opportunity to work with Elden when he was with Fleetwood previously; we have tremendous respect for him. We were pleased to discover his readiness to rejoin this fine company.”
Smith is a past chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and served on the association’s board for more than 20 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics from Whittier College.
“The entire board of directors thanks Ed Caudill for his contributions over the past two and a half years,” Pitcher added. “His efforts in building a deeper executive team will serve Fleetwood well as we implement our strategies to improve performance and build shareholder value.”