Eagle Materials/American Gypsum chief Powers to succeed CEO Rowley

Sources: Eagle Materials Inc., Dallas; CP staff

Eagle Materials has announced the retirement of President and CEO Steve Rowley effective March 31. The cement, aggregate, ready mixed concrete and wallboard producer notes that his decision, stemming from post-surgery health matters, brings “to a close a remarkable career of 25 years of continuous service to the company and its stockholders.”

Chairman Larry Hirsch credits Rowley with doubling Eagle Materials’ cement production scale, guiding the American Gypsum Co. LLC wallboard business to nationwide scope, and leading the company through the longest and most challenging construction market down cycle in U.S. history. “Today the company has the strength to capitalize on construction cycle opportunities more powerfully than ever before,” Hirsch adds. “I am grateful for the innumerable contributions he has made to the company during his tenure as CEO over the last 12 years.”

Rowley will remain available to the board in an advisory capacity for two years and credits successor, Executive Vice President, Gypsum Wallboard Dave Powers, with guiding “American Gypsum’s path to becoming the industry leader in lowest cost production and customer satisfaction—the most important foundational elements of our broader company strategy.”

A building materials industry veteran of 35-plus years, Powers joined Centex Construction Products in 2002—four years prior to a Centex Corp. spinoff forming Eagle Materials Inc.—as executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, and was promoted to his present post in 2005. “My appointment should be recognized as a change in leadership only, and not in any way a change in strategy,” he affirms. “We will remain focused on profitable growth and improvement through cycles and equally committed to not overpaying for the privilege of achieving growth when investing. I believe the only way to be successful through cycles is as the low-cost producer of consistently high-quality products that meet our customers’ needs.”

Eagle Materials is the largest publicly traded, U.S.-based portland cement producer, reporting upward of 5 million tons’ capacity through Central Plains Cement Co. (Missouri and Oklahoma mills); Illinois Cement Co. (LaSalle); Mountain Cement Co. (Laramie, Wyo.); Nevada Cement Co. (Fernley); and, Texas Lehigh Cement Co. (Buda), a 50/50 joint venture with Lehigh Hanson. Integrated ready mixed and aggregate businesses are located in Texas, California and Missouri. Eagle Materials realizes stronger integration in sister businesses, American Gypsum (Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina plants) and Republic Paperboard Co., Lawton, Okla.