The board of directors will immediately initiate a national search for his successor. He will remain CEO until the search is completed. Huffer, 61, is also stepping down from his position as chairman, effective immediately. The board has named current director Bernard P. Aldrich to replace Huffer as non-executive chair. Huffer will continue to serve on the board of directors until a new CEO is named.
"We are grateful to Russ for his leadership as CEO over the past 13 years and for helping to create a logical succession plan for this transition," says Aldrich. "Russ' selfless dedication to Apogee over the course of the past quarter century is unique in today's business environment, so it comes as no surprise to the board that he has decided that now is the appropriate time to start the leadership transition. Russ has accomplished a great deal during his tenure as CEO, including the strategic realignment of the company's businesses, strong capital management, establishing Apogee's businesses as quality and service brands and positioning the company for profitable growth. Russ is responsible for much of the fundamental science that drives our industry - such as products with energy-efficient coatings for the commercial construction industry - and Apogee has benefited from his many patents and continual focus on innovation. His legacy here will be a strong company that is well-positioned to capitalize on future opportunities."
Huffer was elected Apogee chairperson in June 1999, after having been elected president and CEO in January 1998. He joined Apogee in 1986 as vice president and general manager of Viracon, Apogee's largest subsidiary.
"I've witnessed a great deal of change in my 25 years with Apogee," Huffer says. "But one constant has been my passion for this industry, this company and these employees. It's that same dedication that has me stepping aside at the appropriate time for me and for the company. I feel I'm leaving Apogee in a position to accomplish great things. The timing is right for a new leader to assume the reins, as the global economy accelerates its recovery. I can now hand off a company positioned to capitalize on its strong foundation, as it heads into a new, promising economic era."
Effective immediately, current director Bernard P. Aldrich has been named non-executive chairman, to replace Huffer. Aldrich, a member of Apogee's board of directors since 1999, is the retired CEO and president of Rimage Corp., a publicly-held designer and manufacturer of workflow integrated digital publishing solutions. He has also served as chair of Apogee's compensation committee and as a member of its nominating and corporate governance committee. Aldrich, 61, retired from Rimage in 2009 after 12 years as president and CEO. He has 13 years of public company operational experience and 18 years of private company financial management experience, to go along with his expertise in manufacturing operations.
"The board believes strongly that Apogee is poised for future success," Aldrich says. "This is due largely to the hard work and passion that Russ Huffer has infused into this company. We look forward to continuing to work with him during this transition. We are confident that he will leave behind a company with a solid reputation, solid financial base and a best-in-class operating platform."