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Fleetwood Founder John C. Crean Retires

January 14, 1998|John O'Dell

Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. founder John C. Crean retired as chairman and chief executive of the company he began 47 years ago and built into the nation's largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles and manufactured housing. Crean, 72, a prominent supporter of Southern California arts and charities, said he wanted to step down before "hardheadedness" started affecting his decisions. He will sell his 14% stake in Fleetwood to the company for $176.8 million in cash. Crean said he and his wife, Donna, will follow their long-established custom of contributing 50% of the stock sale proceeds to charity. Glenn F. Kummer, 64, Fleetwood's president and chief operating officer since 1982, will succeed Crean. Although Riverside-based Fleetwood's market share and stock price had been declining for several years, the company's fortunes have been rising in the last six months. Word of the stock buyback, expected to boost the company's earnings by up to 10 cents a share year, fueled a buying spree that pushed Fleetwood shares up 4.7% on the New York Stock Exchange to close at $38.69, up $1.75 for the day.

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