Chuck Wilkinson, the executive many credit with turning around Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.’s RV operations, has left the company, Fleetwood announced today (Nov. 19).
Wilkinson, 62, the executive vice president and COO who also was Fleetwood’s highest paid official for fiscal 2003, which ended April 27, will not be replaced.
Instead, the senior vice presidents who head Fleetwood’s RV, manufactured housing and supply subsidiaries now will report directly to Ed Caudill, president and CEO.
That group includes Chris Braun, the former PACCAR executive who has served as senior vice president of Fleetwood’s RV Group since May.
Caudill, 60, also a former PACCAR executive who joined Fleetwood in the summer of 2002, is among those giving Wilkinson a significant amount of credit for the RV Group’s turnaround.
“We are grateful to Chuck for his many contributions that helped to bring Fleetwood to this point in its progress toward financial health and sustained profitability,” Caudill said in a statement issued this morning. “During his 17-year tenure, Chuck was instrumental in improving manufactured housing operations and, more recently, implementing change throughout the RV Group after assuming that additional responsibility in 2001.
“The pace of change at Fleetwood continues to accelerate. We feel confident that Fleetwood’s exceptionally strong management team will work together to build on Chuck’s efforts and drive our strategic growth initiatives.”
In fiscal 2003, which ended on April 27, Wilkinson earned a salary of $520,800 and a bonus totaling $633,500 for that 12-month period, according to Fleetwood’s proxy statement. He also has options on 435,000 shares of Fleetwood stock, or a little more than 1% of the company, which had $2.31 billion in sales in fiscal 2003.
After a struggle lasting three years, Caudill believes Fleetwood, which earned a small profit during the first quarter of fiscal 2004 – May through July – will be profitable this fiscal year.