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Schultz to Retire as Valassis CEO

Alan Schultz, who orchestrated an acquisition that doubled his company’s revenue and then later led it through a legal triumph over its archrival, will retire as president and CEO of Livonia, Mich.-based marketing giant Valassis Communications Inc. in December.

Shultz, 52, will be replaced by longtime Valassis executive Rob Mason, the company said in a statement this morning.

Shultz will retain his position as chairman of the board and will continue to work for Valassis under a “three-year consulting arrangement with the company to assist with the leadership transition” that begins Jan. 1, the company said.

According to Crain’s Detroit Business, Mason currently is Valassis’ EVP of sales and marketing. He has been with the company since 1995 and will join the Valassis board of directors Sept. 1.

Shultz’s crowning achievement was pulling the trigger on a complex $1.2 billion deal to buy the Connecticut-based direct mailer Advo Inc. The move initially was met with skepticism by Wall Street, which drove down Valassis’ share price.

The deal basically doubled Valassis’ annual revenue to more than $2 billion. For 2010, according to Crain’s, Valassis reported net income of $385.4 million on revenue of $2.3 billion, compared with net income of $66.8 million on revenue of $2.2 billion in 2009.

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