Martin Marietta Materials Inc. announced that the longtime chairman of the company's board of directors, Stephen P. Zelnak Jr., will retire from his role as chairman effective May 22, 2014, following the company’s Annual Shareholders Meeting. Zelnak will continue to serve as a director on the Martin Marietta Board.
The company also announced the board of directors has elected president and chief executive officer C. Howard (Ward) Nye to the additional post of chairman of the board upon Zelnak’s retirement. These changes complete a seamless and orderly succession process overseen by the board of directors.
Zelnak has 33 years of company service, having joined Martin Marietta Corp. as vice president, planning and business development in 1981 at the Bethesda, Md.-based headquarters. In 1982, he was appointed president of the newly constituted Aggregates Division located in Raleigh, N.C.
In 1994, Zelnak led the initial public offering of Martin Marietta Materials stock, and in 1996, he led the successful offering of the remaining stock held by Lockheed Martin (successor to Martin Marietta Corp.) as Martin Marietta Materials became a fully independent New York Stock Exchange-listed company.
In 1997, Zelnak was named chairman of the board of directors in addition to his role as chief executive officer. Zelnak oversaw the completion of more than 70 acquisitions and led the company to achieve annual revenues of more than $2 billion. Under his leadership, in 2006, the company was selected by Fortune Magazine as the most admired company in its sector.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead Martin Marietta as chairman of the board,” Zelnak said. “I have great confidence in the company's leadership team and its future – they’ve done an outstanding job navigating a very challenging environment. In his expanded role as chairman, I am confident Ward will provide strong, objective and thoughtful leadership to the board based on his deep understanding not just of the industry, but also of Martin Marietta's values and strategy.”
Commenting on the transition, CEO and chairman-elect Nye said: “It is a distinct honor to be elected chairman and to succeed Steve. Martin Marietta’s strength today is a testament to his vision and leadership. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the board, our outstanding management team and our dedicated employees as we fulfill our aim of being the world's premier aggregates-led building materials company. With numerous indicators of increased construction activity, Martin Marietta is well positioned to capitalize on these opportunities, build on our momentum and enhance long-term shareholder value.”