WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Drew Industries Incorporated (NYSE: DW) announced today that Fred Zinn, President and Chief Executive Officer, will retire effective May 10, 2013. Jason D. Lippert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lippert Components and Kinro, subsidiaries of Drew, has been named to succeed Mr. Zinn as Chief Executive Officer of Drew. This transition is the result of a comprehensive succession process initiated by the Board of Directors in 2011.
Mr. Zinn, who will turn 62 in March, has been an executive officer since 1986, serving as President and a Director since 2008 and as CEO since 2009. While Mr. Zinn will not stand for re-election as a Director, he will serve as a consultant to Drew through 2013.
Mr. Lippert, age 40, has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lippert Components and Kinro, and as a Director of Drew, for the past six years, and will continue in these positions. Mr. Lippert has held various executive positions at Lippert Components and Kinro since 1998.
Scott Mereness, age 41, has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Drew effective May 10, 2013. Mr. Mereness will continue to serve as President of Lippert and Kinro, as he has since 2010. Mr. Mereness has held various executive positions at Lippert and Kinro since 2001.Leigh J. Abrams, Chairman of the Board of Drew, stated "Fred has been Drew's CEO through very challenging times, including the 'Great Recession,' and he has helped guide our strong growth that followed. In the past four years, Drew has generated over $200 million in operating cash flow, enabling the Company to complete 13 acquisitions, pay nearly $80 million in special dividends to stockholders, and still close 2012 with no debt. The Board is grateful for the substantial contributions Fred has made to Drew for more than 30 years, first as CFO and then during his distinguished tenure as CEO and a Director." Abrams continued, "This carefully conceived leadership transition brings Jason Lippert and Scott Mereness to Drew's top executive positions. Both these executives are highly experienced, and they have the vision, energy and ability to lead the Company through its next phase of growth." "I have been privileged and proud to work for this vibrant Company," stated Zinn. "After more than three decades with Drew Industries, it's time to transfer Drew's executive responsibilities to a new generation. Jason is an exceptionally talented leader, and he has been key to the Company's success. Since he assumed an executive role more than a decade ago, Drew's market share has grown consistently and significantly. Jason has gained the respect of business executives throughout the industries we serve. He has developed an outstanding team of executives with proven leadership capabilities and extensive experience in our industries."