PICO Holdings, Inc., has announced that effective Aug. 2, the company’s Board of Directors has appointed Dorothy Timian-Palmer as chief executive officer of the company to succeed Max Webb.
Webb will continue to serve the company in the newly created position of executive chairman. The company also announced John Perri, the company’s chief financial officer, will leave the company once an orderly transition with new finance staff in Carson City, has occurred and the La Jolla, California office, has been closed. This transition is expected to be fully completed no later than the first quarter of 2019.
PICO Holdings, Inc., together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Vidler Water Company, acquires or develops water rights and water related assets in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico; develops and operates its water storage facility near Phoenix; uses water storage capacity operated by third parties in Arizona; and banks or stores water with municipalities in Nevada and New Mexico.
The company’s Compensation Committee approved, and the company entered into, an employment agreement with Timian-Palmer, an amended employment agreement with Webb, an amended executive bonus plan for Timian-Palmer and Webb, and a transition agreement with Perri.
Eric Speron, the company’s lead director, said:
“The board is delighted to announce the appointment of Dorothy as the new CEO of the company. The company has achieved much in the last two years and its assets now consist almost entirely of Vidler Water Company. As such, the board determined this was the right time to appoint Dorothy as CEO with her extensive experience and expertise in all water development matters and for her to continue on the path of maximizing the value of Vidler’s unique and strategic portfolio of water assets. Shareholders who have met Dorothy are keenly aware of her unrivaled water development experience and her commitment to the company.
“The board is also incredibly pleased Max was willing to stay as our executive chairman. The board believes Max has done a terrific job as CEO and we are extraordinarily pleased he was willing to stay on this role as well as oversee our finance and reporting functions once the transition to move those functions to Carson City is complete. Max has accomplished everything the board has asked of him and done it with exemplary stewardship, precision and care so we were excited to retain his talents as the company evolves by continuing to work with Dorothy and the Vidler team.
“We believe this reorganization of the management structure and the closure of the La Jolla office will result in significant reductions in executive compensation and overhead in future periods.”
Webb said: “I am very pleased to pass the CEO role over to Dorothy. We have been colleagues for over 20 years and I believe she is exactly the right person at this point in the company’s evolution to be leading the execution of the company’s business plan. Dorothy is very creative and clever in finding water solutions to the water scarcities that exist in the markets we serve — and she and the Vidler team have the deep and extensive local knowledge in those markets that is essential for maximizing the value of our water portfolio.
“I wish to thank John Perri for the role he has played for many years at PICO. He has been a dedicated steward of the company’s financial integrity over the years and has excelled as a professional financial executive. John is committed to ensuring the transition of the financial reporting and administration of the company to the new company headquarters in Carson City is executed in the most efficient and timely manner. Once the transition is complete, it is the board’s intention that I will resume the role of chief financial officer of the company. On behalf of the board and management we thank John for his loyal service to the company and its shareholders and we all wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Timian-Palmer said: “I am honored to become CEO of PICO and to continue our efforts to maximize the value of our water assets for shareholders. I remain committed to working tirelessly and as efficiently as possible as we continue to endeavor to monetize the remainder of our water asset portfolio. The transition of the financial and administrative functions to our new headquarters in Carson City is timely and should result in a more efficient operation of the company and produce significant normalized annual cash savings.
“I wish to thank Max for the job he has done as CEO these past couple of years and I am very pleased that in his role of executive chairman he will continue to provide me with his insights and financial expertise as I take on my new role. Max has shown leadership and commitment to shareholder value and I aim to emulate those actions.”