Irvine Co.'s Nielsen Loses President Title

Three months after losing most of his day-to-day administrative authority, Thomas H. Nielsen has been stripped of the title of president of the Irvine Co.

Chairman and majority shareholder Donald Bren said Tuesday that the Newport Beach land development company has eliminated the position of corporate president, which Nielsen held since 1983.

Bren also said that in the latest reorganization approved Monday by the company's directors, the departments that had remained in Nielsen's control--urban planning and design, policy management and entitlement, and corporate affairs--have been assigned to Bren's close assistant, Gary Hunt. Hunt, who previously was a vice president, has been elevated to senior vice president and is one of the three managing officers who report directly to the executive committee, of which he is a member.

Nielsen lost most of his administrative duties in a reorganization last June, when the company consolidated management authority in an executive committee that began to meet weekly.

Nielsen, who has been given the new title of vice chairman, will stay on as a member of the eight-member executive committee and will continue to serve as the principal company spokesman "on all issues of major community, regional and statewide concern," Bren said in a prepared statement.

As part of the latest reorganization, two other executive committee members, Raymond L. Watson and John Galvin, also have been made vice chairmen. Watson, a former company president, has been working on major planning strategies, such as development plans for the so-called Irvine Coast property while Galvin, a former Aetna Life & Casualty senior vice president, last May was made head of Irvine Co.'s Financial Services Group.

Also in the current reshuffling, Roland Osgood, president of Irvine Pacific, Irvine Co.'s home-building division, has been made president of a newly formed unit, Irvine Co. Land Development Group, which, according to Bren, will have "responsibility for all land, infrastructure, residential construction and apartment management."

Osgood, Hunt and other company officials denied widespread reports that Irvine Pacific is being disbanded or will be laying off employees. As part of its earlier restructuring, Irvine Co. last July laid off 240 employees, representing 18% of its work force.

"There are no major layoffs or any layoffs anticipated at the company and no plans for IP (Irvine Pacific) to do anything else than what it is (doing)," said Hunt.

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