CHICAGO Drew Industries
Inc. president and chief executive officer Fred Zinn plans to
retire effective May 10 as the company makes a series of
management changes and looks to move its headquarters to
Elkhart County, Ind., from White Plains, N.Y.
Zinn, 61, will be succeeded by
Jason D. Lippert, chairman and chief executive officer of Drew
subsidiaries Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro. Lippert, 40,
will continue in his positions at aluminum extruder Lippert
Components and Kinro, roles he has held for the past six
Drew, through Lippert Components
and Kinro, makes parts for a host of sectors, including
recreational vehicles (RVs), manufactured housing and
Zinn has been an executive
officer with Drew since 1986 and served as president since 2008
and chief executive officer since 2009. "After more than three
decades with Drew Industries, its time to transfer
Drews executive responsibilities to a new generation,"
Zinn said in a statement. He will work as a consultant to Drew
Also changing roles is Scott
Mereness, 41, who will be president and chief operating officer
of Drew effective May 10. Mereness, who has held executive
positions at Lippert Components and Kinro since 2001, will
continue to serve as president of those companies.
Drew chief legal officer Harvey
F. Milman, 71, who has served with Drew since 1969, will retire
effective July 31, but will continue as a consultant with the
firm through 2014. Milman will be succeeded by Robert A. Kuhns,
47, who for the past 13 years has been a partner at the
Minneapolis office of law firm Dorsey & Whitney.
The executive changes and
headquarters move are expected to result in a pre-tax charge of
approximately $3.3 million, including $1.5 million in the
fourth quarter of 2012 and the rest in the first half of 2013,
Drew said. Once the transition is complete, the company expects
to save about $2 million per year in administrative costs.
Eighty percent of all RVs made
in the United States are produced in Elkhart County, which Drew
said is part of the reason it is moving its headquarters there.
In addition, merging corporate operations with manufacturing
facilities in Indiana will save money and allow a better flow
of ideas among Drew management and executives in the RV and
manufactured housing industries, the company said.