Participants in the Salem Distributing Company Employee Stock Ownership Plan
(ESOP) have announced plans to buy the remaining, outstanding shares that are
owned directly or indirectly by Robert A. Long, president and chief executive
officer. According to the announcement, the purchase will represent approximately
66 percent of the outstanding stock, which will make Salem 100-percent employee
owned. The purchase is expected to take place in the next few weeks.
Long has also announced he will retire after 28 years with Salem, and expects
to do so sometimes in March once all of the bank work and legal papers for the
shares purchase are complete.
Long joined the company in 1977 as vice president, and has since served as
president, chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer. He
will be succeeded by vice president Howard Hanes. Mike Willard, vice president
of sales and marketing, will be appointed to the board of directors and replace
Long as an ESOP trustee. Two additional outside members of the board of directors
will also be added.
In light of assuming the new role as president Hanes will be transferring some
of his current responsibilities; the machinery sales division will be under Willard
and the warehousing, shipping and receiving functions will be the responsibility
of Maurice Fox, vice president and controller.