The January 2010 Lehigh Hanson Inc. management transition sees the retirement of one of the industry's key dealmakers of the past two decades Û following that of Rinker Materials, CRH/Oldcastle and Martin Marietta Materials peers David Clarke (June 2007), Liam O'Mahony (January 2009) and Stephen Zelnak (January 2010). Jim Kitzmiller started with Hanson Pipe & Precast's charter business, Gifford Hill Concrete Pipe, in 1971. His ascent through the management ranks continued as Gifford Hill's concrete, cement and aggregate businesses changed hands over a 25-year period, culminating in Hanson Plc's decision to define a North American portfolio around concrete pipe & precast and aggregates.
Beginning in 1996, Kitzmiller oversaw a host of regional platform and bolt-on acquisitions that made Hanson Pipe & Precast a top player in manufactured concrete. After being named president of the business in 1998, he continued the concrete portfolio development into the next decade. In 2003, he was named president of Hanson Aggregates North America, which had evolved alongside Hanson Pipe & Precast from a series of transactions, including the early-2000 Hanson Plc takeover of Pioneer Ltd. and Texas-centered Pioneer Concrete of America. Kitzmiller's ramp-up of Hanson Aggregates NA and Hanson Pipe & Products ran in tandem with similar expansion of Rinker Materials/Hydro Conduit, Oldcastle Materials and Oldcastle Precast.
Kitzmiller was named the inaugural president and chief executive officer of Lehigh Hanson, Inc., the North American entity of Germany's HeidelbergCement formed in August 2007, upon its takeover of London-based Hanson Plc.