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Washington Business Journal: Bozzuto Group Sets Stage for New Generation

February 25, 2013

The Bozzuto Group announced several changes to its leadership team last week that could set the stage for homebuilder Tom Bozzuto to hand the reigns of one of the Washington region’s largest private companies to his son.

Bozzuto, ranked by the Washington Business Journal as Greater Washington’s eighth-largest company with $1.1 billion in 2011 revenue, announced Feb. 20 that Toby Bozzuto will step into a newly created position as company president. He’ll be serving alongside the elder Bozzuto, who will continue as CEO.

The move, the younger Bozzuto told me, comes with “the sense of beautiful symmetry” as the firm celebrates its 25th anniversary. While Tom Bozzuto has no plans to step down as head of the company any time soon, the leadership change appears to have set the stage for a succession plan when he does. Bozzuto is one of several of the region’s largest employers still being led by its original founders. Toby Bozzuto, who previously worked as a financial analyst with J.P. Morgan Chase, joined the company back in 2001.

As you might recall, Fairfax-based The Peterson Cos. promoted Milt Peterson’s son Steven to president in 2010, while J. W. Marriott Jr. handed the hotelier’s torch over to Arne Sorenson last March.

Bozzuto, based in Greenbelt, also announced last week that co-founder John Slidell will be stepping down from day-to-day operations as vice chairman, company co-founder and president of Bozzuto Land Co., though he will continue to be part of the company. The homebuilder has also promoted Steve Strazzella to Toby Bozzuto’s former role as president of its development arm, Bozzuto Development Co.

As the company heads into its next quarter-century, Tom Bozzuto told me he expects to expand the firm’s development and construction reach up the East Coast. Bozzuto’s current development pipeline reaches into Pennsylvania, but Bozzuto said he hopes to push as far north as New England. It’s also worthy of note that over the past 25 years Bozzuto has yet to make a major company acquisition or merger.

The company also plans to keep an active pipeline of projects in Greater Washington, which includes a mixed-use project in Cleveland Park called Cathedral Commons, another large project in Gaithersburg dubbed Downtown Crown, and a third by Catholic University of American in Brookland.