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Executive changes at Irvine Co.

August 17, 2007|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

Senior Irvine Co. executives Joe Davis and Larry Thomas are retiring in the coming weeks, the Newport Beach company announced Thursday as Orange County's largest private landowner continued to retool its top management team.

The changes make way for a new generation of company leaders, including former Santa Ana Mayor Dan Young, under a new chief executive named earlier this summer.

Thomas is one of the best-known public faces of the Irvine Co., where he often spoke for company owner Donald Bren, 75, whose public appearances have been rare and tightly controlled in recent years.

Thomas has headed corporate communications for decades after serving as press secretary to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush. He also served as press spokesman for former Gov. George Deukmejian and then-San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson. He also supervises the company's technology advancement and corporate marketing groups.

Taking over for Thomas will be Tony Russo, 44, who joined the company four years ago and has been serving as senior vice president of government relations.

Davis has been with the company since 1993 and led several residential developments in Orange County, including the village of Woodbury and custom home communities at Shady Canyon and Crystal Cove.

His replacement will be Young, 56, a real estate developer who came to the Irvine Co. in 1999 and has served 11 years on the Santa Ana City Council, including eight years as mayor. He will become president of Irvine Community Development Co.

Also, litigator Gregory Lindstrom, 54, will join the Irvine Co. from law firm Latham & Watkins. He will oversee the company's general counsel and legal department. He also will be in charge of human resources, risk management, internal audits and corporate affairs.

Young and Lindstrom will report to Michael D. McKee, who was elevated to chief executive in June. He reports to Bren. Russo will report to Lindstrom.

Davis will retire Sept. 15 and Thomas' last day is Oct. 1.

The Irvine Co. developed the city of Irvine, one of the country's largest and best-known planned communities, with a population of more than 200,000 and growing.

The company also owns the Newport Center office complex and adjacent Fashion Island outdoor mall in Newport Beach, the Irvine Spectrum shopping and entertainment center and the Market Place in Tustin.

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roger.vincent@latimes.com

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