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Champion Enterprises Taps Koch to Head Turnaround

The ex-Kmart CFO was named interim president and CEO.

Shares of prefabricated homebuilder

Champion Enterprises

(CHB)

were soaring Monday after the company named ex-

Kmart

CFO Albert Koch its interim president and CEO.

Recently, shares were up 76 cents, or 18%, at $4.94 on the

New York Stock Exchange

TheStreet Recommends

.

Koch, who will also be chairman, succeeds Walter R. Young, who is leaving after 13 years of leading the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company, Champion said in a statement.

Koch's main goal will be to lead a review of Champion's operations and speed up the company's return to profitability, the company said. Champion has reported losses in six consecutive quarters. Most recently, the company had a loss of 52 cents a share in its first quarter 2003. Analysts expect the company to lose 2 cents a share in the second quarter, compared with a loss of 20 cents a share in the same quarter last year.

Additionally, Koch will help the Champion board find a permanent president and chief executive. After a new president and CEO is found, Koch is expected to become nonexecutive chairman.

Prior to working for Kmart, Koch was interim CFO of

Oxford Health Plans

(OHP)

.