NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros has stepped down as president of Univision Communications Inc., to launch a company that will build homes in metropolitan areas.|
Los Angeles-based Univision (UNV: Research, Estimates), which operates the nation's leading Spanish-language television network, said Cisneros resigned as president and chief operating officer, with A. Jerrold Perenchio, chairman and chief executive of Univision, assuming his responsibilities.
Cisneros, who served in President Clinton's cabinet as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will form a new company, American CityVista, to build residential communities in the central areas of selected metropolitan regions.
Cisneros will serve as chairman and chief executive of the new company, which is formed as a joint venture with homebuilder Kaufman and Broad Home Corp. (KBH: Research, Estimates). Financial details were not released.
The venture, which will be majority-owned by Cisneros and headquartered in San Antonio, will target areas ripe for development, and will focus principally on building large distinctive communities in areas where new residential development has not occurred in recent years.
"(We will build) Private market housing ... targeted to mid-income people who want to live in cities," Cisneros told CNN's Moneyline. (294K WAV) (294K AIFF)
"As cities focus on revitalization, American CityVista and Kaufman and Broad will develop areas that have been overlooked by major homebuilders in the past," says Bruce Karatz, chairman and CEO of Kaufman.
"This is a vision Kaufman and Broad shares with Henry Cisneros, and together we have the resources and expertise to make vital new neighborhoods a reality," Karatz added.
Cisneros was also elected a director of the Kaufman and Broad.
Cisneros served as HUD secretary from 1993 through 1996, in September 1999 pled guilty to one misdemeanor count of lying to the FBI after reaching a plea bargain with federal prosecutors just as his trial on 18 counts of lying to federal investigators was scheduled to begin.
He admitted that during his background checks for his cabinet post, he falsely told FBI investigators that he had paid his former lover no more than $2,500 monthly. Cisneros had said he offered financial support because he felt sorry for Jones after their affair became public.