The nation’s largest homebuilder has a new CEO for the first time in more than two decades.
Lennar, which became the nation’s biggest homebuilder earlier this year when it bought fellow homebuilder CalAtlantic Group in a $9.3 billion deal, announced recently that it is making a series of executive changes.
The changes, which consist of promoting several of the company’s leaders, mark the first significant shakeup of the company’s leadership in some time.
According to the company, CEO Stuart Miller will become the company’s executive chairman. In that role, Miller will be “actively involved in all aspects of the Company's operations and continue to set the strategic direction for Lennar,” the company said in a release.
Miller has been with Lennar for more than 35 years and served the last 21 years as CEO.
Replacing Miller as CEO will be Rick Beckwitt, who has been the company’s president since 2011. Beckwitt was also elected to join the company’s board of directors.
Beckwitt came to Lennar more than 12 years ago and has been in the homebuilding and construction industry for more than 30 years. Prior to joining Lennar, Beckwitt was on the board of D.R. Horton and served as the company’s president as well.
Taking over as Lennar’s president will be Jon Jaffe, who has been the company’s chief operating officer since 2004. Jaffe, who has worked for Lennar for more than 30 years, will also retain the title and continue to operate as the company’s COO.
Jaffe will also be joining the company’s board.
“Rick, Jon and I have operated a unique partnership as leaders of Lennar to drive the day-to-day operations of the company to new heights and to expand new horizons,” Miller said. “We have not only driven growth and efficiency in our core operations but have navigated the inception and growth of our multifamily operations as well as guided our other ancillary businesses to maturity. We are all energized and committed to continue to enhance and expand this extraordinary company.”
Additionally, Diane Bessette has been promoted from treasurer to chief financial officer. Bessette has worked for Lennar for more than 23 years, serving as the company’s treasurer since 2008 and controller from 1997 to 2008.
Going forward, Bessette will serve as CFO and treasurer.
Bessette replaces Bruce Gross as CFO, who is making a change of his own as part of a shift in the Lennar Financial Services subsidiary, which includes the operations of Eagle Home Mortgage and North American Title.
Gross will now serve as the CEO of Lennar Financial Services. Gross has served as Lennar’s CFO since 1997 and has been with the company for more than 25 years.
The company also announced that at the beginning of the second quarter of 2018, it moved the operations of Rialto Mortgage Finance under the Lennar Financial Services umbrella and plans to expand into a “broader range of structured finance solutions” for real estate assets.
“Lennar has always been recognized for its deep and seasoned management team. Under the leadership of Stuart Miller, the executive team at Lennar has worked hand in hand to navigate the housing collapse and the subsequent recovery,” Sidney Lapidus, Lennar’s lead director, said.
“Through their collaborative dedication and hard work, Lennar has become the largest and most profitable homebuilder in the country,” Lapidus added. “These new management positions reflect the significant contributions that each executive has made and will continue to make to the company’s success and growth.”