Newell Rubbermaid

(NWL) - Get Report

, which recently lowered its fourth-quarter and fiscal 2000 sales and earnings estimates, announced the resignation of CEO John McDonough Wednesday.

The housewares and infant products maker said Chairman William Sovey, who was CEO from 1992 through 1997, will resume that position. Daniel Ferguson will succeed Sovey as chairman.

Freeport, Ill.-based Newell recently lowered earnings estimates on expectations of weak orders. The company said its two biggest challenges are a short-term shrinkage in gross margins and a change in the mix between out-sourced and manufactured product in the long term.

Shares of Newell were recently down 25 cents, or 1.3%, to $18.94 in

New York Stock Exchange

composite trading.