Belden CDT Inc. says C. Baker Cunningham, its president and chief executive officer, has decided to accelerate his plan to retire in 2006 at the age of 65.
Cunningham said at the company's annual meeting today that no formal retirement date has been set, and he will remain in his current position with Belden CDT during the transition to its new CEO.
Bryan Cressey is chairman of Belden CDT's Board of Directors and will remain in that role. Belden CDT Inc. was formed in July 2004 through the merger of Belden Inc. and Cable Design Technologies Corp.
"The company is performing well and has the strength and financial flexibility to make measured long-term choices about its future," Cunningham said. "The integration of Belden and Cable Design Technologies is in the hands of our capable management and significantly ahead of schedule, and the opportunities for the combined company are outstanding. Starting the CEO transition now enables the person who will lead Belden CDT in its next stage of development to be part of our long-term strategic planning process as we focus on the future of our company."
"It has been my intention to retire at age 65, and the company's solid performance, success with the integration process and strong outlook make it possible for me to retire sooner than I had planned," Cunningham added.
The board's succession planning committee has engaged Crist Associates, an executive search firm based in Chicago, to identify CEO candidates.
Cunningham served as Belden's chairman, president and chief executive officer from its initial public offering in 1993 and as president and chief executive officer of Belden CDT since the merger. Previously he was executive vice president and a 23-year veteran of Cooper Industries, Inc., which also was Belden's parent company.
At the annual meeting shareholders re-elected the 10 members of its board and approved the addition of 2.5 million shares to the company's long-term performance incentive plan.
In addition, the Board of Directors of Belden CDT Inc. today declared a regular quarterly dividend of 5 cents per share payable on July 6, 2005 to all shareholders of record as of June 3, 2005.
Belden CDT is based in St. Louis, MO. For more information visit www.beldencdt.com.