Vulcan Materials Co. announced that Donald M. James will retire as the company's non-executive chairman and from the board of directors, effective Dec. 31, 2015. J. Thomas Hill, Vulcan's president and chief executive officer, will succeed James as chairman.
|Donald M. James|
James T. Prokopanko, Vulcan's lead director, said: "Don has led Vulcan Materials as the largest aggregates supplier in the U.S. for 18 years, significantly expanding its operations throughout the nation. During that time, he has guided Vulcan through periods of strong growth as well as difficult market downturns, always with a keen eye on customer service, creating opportunities for employees and building sustainable, long term value for shareholders. In particular, the actions taken by Don and the management team in recent years to increase operational efficiency, de-risk the balance sheet and maintain disciplined growth have positioned Vulcan to deliver increasingly stronger returns. On behalf of the board, I thank Don for his invaluable service to Vulcan and wish him all the best in his future endeavors."
James said: "With the building materials market continuing to expand, the enactment of a new multi-year federal highway program and the company performing exceptionally well, now is the right time to complete the succession process we began a number of years ago that resulted in Tom Hill becoming CEO in 2014. Our management team, under the leadership of Tom, along with the executive leadership team of John McPherson, Stan Bass and Michael Mills, is executing skillfully on the company's strategic plan and delivering strong growth and increased profitability.
"Tom Hill is an experienced, proven and talented leader, with a deep understanding of Vulcan and our industry," James said. I am confident that he and his Vulcan colleagues will continue to lead Vulcan to even greater growth and value for our shareholders. I want to thank the board for their insights and counsel over the years; our shareholders for their feedback, support, and commitment to the company; and our employees for their dedication, hard work and focus. I have always believed that Vulcan has the most talented people in the industry. I know that I am leaving Vulcan in highly capable hands."
Hill said, "Vulcan is a great business with strategic market positions in the largest, fastest growing metropolitan areas across the country, extensive and unmatched aggregates reserves, and a strong financial position. I look forward to continuing to work with the board and the Vulcan leadership team to deliver on the company's strategic goals and to continue to enhance its strong strategic position for the benefit of the company and its shareholders. Under Don's leadership, Vulcan has seen remarkable growth in these strategically important markets and is well positioned for strong performance in the future. On behalf of all of our employees, I thank Don for his outstanding contributions to Vulcan and the aggregates industry, and for his wise counsel and friendship."
James (66) served as president of Vulcan Materials Co. from 1996 to 1997 and as chief executive officer from 1997 to 2014. He has served on the company's board of directors since 1996, was named chairman in 1997, and non-executive chairman in January 2015.
Hill has been with Vulcan for more than 25 years, serving in a variety of operations and general management assignments of increasing responsibility leading up to his appointment as president and chief executive officer in July 2014. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the Wharton School of Business, Executive Management Program.