Berkshire Replaces Building-Products Chief as Buffett Preps for Housing Rebound

Tuesday, 13 Nov 2012 03:56 PM

 

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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. replaced the head of a building-products unit with $2.5 billion in annual sales as Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett prepares the company for a U.S. housing rebound.

Todd Raba, 55, will “relinquish” his position as chairman and CEO of Johns Manville, the Denver-based company said Tuesday in a statement. Mary Rhinehart, 54, who has served as chief financial officer, was named CEO, effective immediately, the unit of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire said.

Raba “worked diligently during a tough economic environment to effectively position the company for future success,” Buffett, 82, said in the statement. Melody Dunbar, a spokeswoman for Johns Manville, declined to comment on the reason for the departure.

Rhinehart will oversee a unit with about 7,000 employees and 45 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China. Johns Manville makes insulation and roofing and has customers in the aerospace, automotive and building industries. The new CEO has been with the company more than 30 years.

“I couldn’t be more enthused to have her taking on this role,” Buffett said.

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