14 February 2011

This Company is Getting Harder to Like

I really don’t like doing back-to-back blog posts on a single subject, but the chatter about Howard Hughes makes it difficult not to say something.

Recently I posted about the lack of a replacement for former GGP/HHC Vice President Greg Hamm.  Since then I have come to find out that there have been other vacancies at Howard Hughes.  Specifically the Chief Financial Officer position became vacant on January 31, 2011.  This did not come as a surprise to Howard Hughes, because the CFO was actually an interim CFO that was intended to leave on that date.  It was spelled out in the documents that formed the company back in November.

Instead of conducting a search and installing a new CFO by the January 31st deadline, the Howard Hughes Board of Directors has installed Mr. Grant Herlitz as the CFO.  The board should be familiar with Mr. Herlitz, in that he is also the President of the Howard Hughes Corporation.  This news report indicates Howard Hughes is “conducting an executive search for a permanent Chief Financial Officer.”

Tonight, we hear of Howard Hughes activities in Houston, TX.

Executives with The Howard Hughes Corp. held a high-dollar launch party last week in Houston, complete with plenty of glitz to impress their new business contacts.
...Walls were covered with crushed velvet drapes. Large posters with historic pictures of Hughes were sprinkled throughout the space, each of which contained information on the legendary Houston-born entrepreneur.
Music from the 1920s set the scene, and cocktails flowed freely.
...David Weekley of David Weekley Homes was heard to say: “I didn’t know they had developer parties anymore.”
...Picture an ice sculpture, lots of beautiful flower arrangements, steak sliders and made-to-order stir-fry. Open bars surrounded the room. A dessert buffet beckoned in the back. And live musicians entertained as guests ate dinner.
Decorations included several small replicas of Hughes’ Spruce Goose airplane made specifically for the party.
...Howard Hughes executives who spoke included Grant Herlitz, president; and David Weinreb, CEO; and Peter Houghton, vice president of master-planned communities and general manager of Bridgeland.
It was Houghton’s idea to throw the party.
“The good ole days are back, folks,” Houghton told the crowd. 

I don’t know if they intend to take this party on the road, but I gently suggest that they accomplish something before they start celebrating.

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