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Clarence Ridley to retire as Havertys chairman in May

Board member L. Phillip Humann will succeed him
 Clarence RidleyClarence Ridley
 L. Phillip HumannL. Phillip Humann

ATLANTA — Clarence Ridley will retire as Havertys' non-executive chairman and board member during the Top 100 company's May annual shareholders meeting.

After that, he will hold the title of chairman emeritus, the 119-store Atlanta-based company said.

Havertys said it will name L. Phillip Humann as non-executive chairman upon his re-election at the annual meeting. Humann has been on Havertys' board since 1992 and has been a member of the executive committee since 1995.

Ridley, a member of the Haverty family, has served on the board since 1979. He was a partner at King & Spalding law firm from 1977 until he retired in 2000, and was elected Havertys chairman in 2001 upon the retirement of his uncle, the late Rawson Haverty.

"At that time, the company was undergoing a change in its distribution system and expanding into new markets," the company said in a release, adding that Ridley "helped provide continuity of leadership following the retirement in 2002" of former CEO Jay Slater and the election of Clarence Smith to that post.

"Mr. Ridley has helped guide the company through a tumultuous period for the furniture industry and both high-growth and recessionary cycles," the company said.

Last year, Ridley stepped down as executive chairman but continued as non-executive chairman and consultant.

Humann was chairman of the board of SunTrust Banks for 10 years before retiring in April 2009. He currently is a director of Coca Cola Enterprises and Equifax.

"It has been an honor to be a part of this great company for the past 31 years," Ridley said. "Havertys is celebrating its 125th year, a testament of the leadership that has come before and that follows. There have been seismic changes in this industry and it has been a privilege to work with a management team and a board to see the company through the firestorm."

Smith praised Ridley for his contributions.

"He is retiring as the strategies of cost containment and margin discipline are producing positive results and we gain market share," Smith said. "Our shareholders have an experienced and knowledgeable board and I look forward to continuing to work with Phil Humann in his new role as non-executive chairman."

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