PulteGroup CEO plans retirement, as founder seeks change

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PulteGroup Chairman and CEO Richard J. Dugas Jr. will retire next year, a decision the homebuilder attributes in part to a leadership change demanded by the company's founder and grandson.

Dugas has served as CEO since 2003 and chairman of the company's board since 2009. The Atlanta-based company said Monday that Dugas decided to retire in May 2017, due in part to the actions of company founder Bill Pulte and his grandson, Jim Grosfeld, who was appointed to the board at the founder's request.

PulteGroup Inc. said Bill Pulte, who founded the company in 1950, and Grosfeld had recently demanded an immediate CEO change and a different direction for the company.

The homebuilder said Dugas offered to accelerate the board's succession plan to avoid a "public battle that would not be in the interests of shareholders."

PulteGroup operates in about 50 markets around the country. Its brands include Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb and DiVosta Homes.

Company shares closed at $18.42 on Friday, and the stock has declined more than 17 percent in the past 12 months. The Standard & Poor's 500 index, in contrast, has risen slightly.

PulteGroup will report first quarter earnings on April 21.