William “Bill” Pulte, founder of Michigan-based builder Pulte Homes (PHM), will retire from his position as director on March 31. The 77-year-old Pulte founded the company in 1950, which has grown from a regional builder of homes in suburban Detroit to the country’s largest publicly traded builder by revenue, operating in 69 markets in 29 states and the District of Columbia, and has collected multiple customer satisfaction awards. After Pulte steps down, his position on the board of directors will be eliminated, reducing the board size to 11 members. “I was 18 years old in 1950 when I started construction on my first house, making 2010 my 60th anniversary in the building business,” Pulte said. “With 2010 marking six decades in business, with our merger with Centex complete and a great, proven leadership team in place, and, hopefully, with the worst of this housing cycle behind us, this feels like the right time to officially step away from the business,” he added. Pulte closed its merger with Centex in August 2009, but of late, the company continues to struggle in the declining US housing market, including posting an $117m loss in Q409, which capped off a $1.2bn loss for all of 2009. Previously, Pulte served as chairman of the executive committee of the board of directors from January 1999 to December 2001 and board chairman from January 1991 to January 1999. Following his retirement, Pulte will assume the title of founder and chairman emeritus and serve as an advisor to the senior executive team and board of directors under a two-year consulting agreement. “One of the things that has thrilled me most over the last few years is working with the people who are now in place and running Pulte Homes. This is particularly true of [Pulte chairman, president and CEO] Richard Dugas, who has become a great leader for this company. I plan to remain a large shareholder of Pulte Homes and have never been more confident in the leadership and future success of the company.” Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.
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