Wayne Huizenga has announced he will resign as chairman of the board of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Republic Services Inc., on Dec. 31, 2002, but he will remain on the company's board of directors. Huizenga will be succeeded by James E. O'Connor, Republic's president and CEO.
“I will be 65 in December, and I am fortunate to be in excellent health,” Huizenga said in a company-issued press release. “I want to step back from my day-to-day involvement in Republic and focus my attention on new entrepreneurial opportunities. The succession to Jim O'Connor is well-timed, considering his knowledge, experience and the stability of the company.”
O'Connor will be Republic's second chairman since the company was spun from Republic Industries in June 1998. “This is just a point in time where Wayne has decided to step back and take a less active role,” O'Connor says. “But he still will play a role in the company and will be there to consult with.”
O'Connor has been president and CEO since he joined the company in 1998. He also will continue to serve as a member of the board's executive committee, along with Huizenga and Harris W. Hudson, Republic's vice chairman. Prior to Republic, O'Connor spent 26 years with Houston-based Waste Management Inc., working his way up from staff accountant to area president.
“My new role doesn't really change the company's strategic plan,” O'Connor notes. “The company still has an eye toward growing through acquisitions … and with the framework we have established over the past 24 months, we are more able to do that.”