Hudson said he realized it was time to put a succession plan in place. “I had a good team, I worked hard and I enjoyed it,” Hudson says of TECO. “I recognized it was time to move on and turn it over to a successor who is ready to take the company to next level.”
Hudson says his goal now is to split his time between three interests: community involvement and church work, director positions on public company boards and personal fun such as exercising, traveling and enjoying his grandkids. “I think I’m pretty close to getting it right.”
He believes he’s found the key to a healthy retirement: “It’s important to keep that lifelong desire to learn no matter what you are doing, even if you move into a different role or stage in life.”
To that extent, he plans to stay engaged as a director on boards of directors as long as he feels productive. At one time, he sat on as many as seven corporate boards. Hudson says to do board work right requires anywhere from 50 hours to 250 hours a year “depending on the complexity of issues the company faces.”
Today, he sits on three larger boards and a small one. “I think I will understand when I’m no longer contributing to a board. I have been a party to easing people off boards when they weren’t contributing.”
A past chairman of the Dade Community Foundation, The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the Florida International University Foundation, Hudson still wants to give back. He says he’s become more involved in his church and with the Chapman Partnership for the Homeless. And, he’s going to pay more attention to staying healthy.
“I’ve become weight and exercise conscious. My goal is to play golf three days a week and walk the other days. As you get older, it’s harder to keep fit but more important to do it.”
While leading TECO, Hudson retained his Miami home and commuted to Tampa, where he owned a condo. He plans to sell the condo and spend most of his time in the Miami community.
On the entrepreneurial side, Hudson sits on the board and has an investment in Itopia, a Miami company that handles cloud computing and IT services for small businesses. “It’s a fascinating company and it’s off to a great start.”
Hudson says the one of the best parts of retirement has been control of his own schedule. “It’s very enjoyable not to worry about getting somewhere at 8 a.m. Sometimes I sleep until 9 a.m. and have a leisurely breakfast and walk. Sometimes I play golf three times a week. Last week I played six times. I was ready for that move. The time was right.”
Formerly: CEO of Spec’s Music
Current board positions: Furniture Brands International, Hastings Entertainment, Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund
Previous board positions: Birks & Mayors Inc., Claire’s Stores, Mayors Jewelers, Alliance Entertainment
Education: Bachelor of Art in Sociology; University of Denver
Personal: Married to William, one daughter
As president and CEO of Spec’s Music, Ann Lieff took the family business public and created one of Florida’s largest and most respected publicly traded companies. At its peak, Spec’s grew to 80 stores in Florida and Puerto Rico. In 1998, Spec’s was sold to Camelot Music (later merged into Trans World Entertainment) and Lieff found herself searching for her next challenge. She became a consultant and sought board positions where she could share her management lessons.