Billionaire brothers Laurence and Preston Tisch announced Wednesday they plan to step down as co-chief executive officers of Loews Corp. by year's end and turn the management of the company over to their sons.
James S. Tisch, the son of Laurence and currently Loews' president and chief operating officer, was named CEO.
In addition, James and his brother, Andrew H. Tisch, and their cousin, Jonathan M. Tisch, who is Preston's son, were named to the newly established office of the president. Each also is a member of the Loews board of directors.
Candace Leeds, a Loews spokeswoman, said the succession will take place at the start of 1999.
The elder Tisch brothers, who will remain co-chairmen of the Loews board, together built Loews from a single hotel in 1946 into one of the country's largest diversified corporations, with $70 billion in assets and more than $20 billion in revenue. The Tisch family owns about 32 percent of the company's outstanding shares.
The partnership between the brothers began when they were in their early 20s with the purchase of Laurel-In-the-Pines, a Lakewood, N.J., winter resort, for $375,000. Their parents, Al and Sayde Tisch, provided financial help.
Loews has holdings today in lodging, insurance and tobacco industries. Its businesses include Loews Hotels, Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc., Bulova Corp., CNA Financial Corp, and Lorillard Corp.
Laurence, 75, and Preston, 72, say they've been preparing to step down for some time. Their sons, they noted, have been groomed for the succession, working in various capacities at Loews and its subsidiaries over the years.
"We have all the confidence in the world that the next generation of Loews management is well tested and prepared to lead the company into the 21st century," Laurence Tisch, who also served as chairman of CBS, said in a statement.
"Each brings to Loews his own unique perspective, talents, experience and judgment," Robert said, adding that both were "extremely impressed with the partnership they have formed and how well they work together."
James joined Loews in 1977. He is chairman and CEO of Diamond Offshore Drilling and a board member of CNA Financial and of Vail Resorts Inc.
Andrew, at Loews since 1971, is chairman of the management committee at Loews board, board chairman of Bulova, and a director of Canary Wharf Ltd. and Zale Corp.
Jonathan, CEO at Loews Hotels since 1989, joined Loews in 1979.