On the heels of Julian Saul's departure as president, Shaw Industries announced a further transition in its top management. Co-founder and CEO Robert Shaw said he will relinquish his post Sept. 1. He will be succeeded by Vance Bell, a 30-year Shaw veteran who now serves as executive vp in charge of operations. Randy Merritt, executive vp in charge of sales and marketing, who has also been with the company for more than 30 years, has been tapped to succeed Saul.

Under Shaw's leadership the Dalton, Ga.-based company grew to become the largest supplier of tufted broadloom carpet as well as a supplier of ceramic, laminate and hardwood flooring marketed under the Shaw name. The company also developed its own network of commercial dealers known as Spectra Contract Flooring which markets flooring products and provides project management services. Shaw was acquired in 2001 by Berkshire Hathaway, the investment firm headed by the billionaire Warren E. Buffett.

In announcing his departure, Shaw said he was confident about the company's future and looked forward to staying on as a board member. "I am very excited about the future of Shaw Industries and look forward to helping the new management team in any way that I can. I would also like to thank all of our people, customers and suppliers for their support and for the loyalty they have shown me and Shaw Industries over the years," he said.