Ryland taps Skelly as chief operating officer

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. (AP) -- The homebuilder Ryland Group Inc. is promoting Pete Skelly to the newly created position of chief operating officer.

CEO and President Larry Nicholson said in a statement on Tuesday that the company's improving profits and current growth rate "created the need for additional leadership opportunities."

The housing sector has been showing steady signs of recovery. Real estate data provider CoreLogic reported on Tuesday that U.S. home prices jumped 12.1 percent in April from a year ago. That's the biggest gain since February 2006. Home sales and prices have been lifted by steady job gains and low mortgage rates.

Ryland's Skelly most recently served as president of the homebuilding operations group. He's worked for the company in various positions over the past 25 years.

The company also announced job changes for Alan Goldsticker and Tom Jacobs. Goldsticker was the Indianapolis division's president of Ryland Homes, while Jacobs held the same post for the Houston division. Both men are being tapped for new posts as area presidents for Ryland Homes. They will report to Skelly.

Shares of Ryland, based in Westlake Village, Calif., fell 69 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $44.49 in afternoon trading. They are still near the high end of their 52-week range of $19.25 to $50.42.