On Friday, July 7, Follett's Board of Directors met and overwhelmingly adopted a leadership succession plan presented by the Board's Continuity Committee – which is comprised of myself and the Corporation's four outside directors. As a result, Christopher Traut will succeed me as Chief Executive Officer of Follett Corporation following his election at Follett's annual board meeting on November 18, 2000. Chris will report directly to the Board and have full responsibility for managing the strategic direction and financial results of Follett Corporation. In addition, he will oversee the corporate office including finance, legal, human resources, technology and family and shareholder relations.
I will remain as Chairman of Follett until my retirement on March 31, 2002 when I reach the Corporation's mandatory retirement age for Chairman. The role of Chairman, however, will gradually become a part-time position and will be filled by an outside director of Follett Corporation upon my retirement. Follett's chairperson will have responsibility for managing corporate governance and board meetings.
In addition, last Friday the Board of Directors voted to combine the Elementary and High School Group with the Library Group, forming the School and Library Group. Ross Follett, who currently serves as President and CEO of Follett's Library Group, will serve as President and CEO of this new group.
Finally, as CEO of Follett Corporation, Chris will manage a newly formed Executive Management Committee comprised of the following members:
- Jim Baumann, President and CEO, Follett Higher Education Group
- Chuck Follett, Executive Vice President, Follett School and Library Group
- Ross Follett, President and CEO, Follett School and Library Group
- Mark Litzsinger, Vice Chairman, Follett Corporation
- Kathy Stanton, CFO, Follett Corporation
Eventually, this committee will also include a Chief Operating Officer of Follett Higher Education Group.
Finally, please join me in congratulating Chris on his selection as Follett's next CEO. He has proven leadership ability and is well qualified for this position.