Apogee CEO to Retire After Replacement is Named

The company's board will immediately initiate a search for someone to replace Russell Huffner, who has been at the helm of the company for 13 years.

Value-added glass manufacturer Apogee Enterprises, Inc., said Wednesday that its leader of 13 years will soon retire.

Chairman and CEO Russell Huffer plans to leave the Bloomington-based company pending the naming of his successor.

According to the company, its board will immediately initiate a search for Huffer's replacement. He'll stay on through the search-the timeline of which the company has not specified.

Huffer joined Apogee in 1986 as vice president and general manager of its largest subsidiary, Viracon, which fabricates coated, high-performance glass. He became president and CEO of Apogee in January 1998 and was elected chairman in 1999.

During Huffer's tenure, he oversaw a realignment that took Apogee beyond its roots in the after-market auto-glass industry and transformed it into a provider of value-added glass solutions for commercial buildings and framing art. He also spearheaded improvement processes that have reduced costs and improved operating efficiencies, according to Apogee. Huffer directly worked on three patented energy-efficient glass coatings and developed reflective high-performance glass coatings-both of which have been used on commercial buildings.

“I feel I'm leaving Apogee in a position to accomplish great things,” Huffer said in a statement. “The timing is right for a new leader to assume the reins, as the global economy accelerates its recovery. I can now hand off a company positioned to capitalize on its strong foundation as it heads into a new, promising economic era.”

Apogee said that current board member Bernard P. Aldrich, former CEO and president of Edina-based Rimage Corporation, has been selected to replace Huffer as chairman. However, Huffer will continue to serve on the board until a new CEO is named.

Apogee is among Minnesota's 40-largest public companies based on revenue, which totaled $696.7 million during the fiscal year that ended in February 2010-representing a 24.7 percent decrease from the prior fiscal year.