Homebuilder Ryland Group of Calabasas elevated Chief Operating Officer Larry Nicholson to president. He will continue in the COO role he has held since July 2007, following in the footsteps of multiple-hat-wearing chairman and CEO R. Chad Dreier, who relinquished the presidential chapeau to Nicholson. “In just over a year as COO, Larry has made an enormous impact on Ryland’s operational efficiencies and in fostering a nimble response to the housing downturn,” said Dreier in a prepared statement. Ryland has seen its share price fluctuate wildly over the past 52 weeks, from a high of $37.85 to a low of $18.11. The stock closed at $26.52 at the end of trading on Sept. 29, well off its five-year high of $81.97 it commanded on July 22, 2005. Nicholson has been with Ryland since 1996 when he joined the firm as vice president of operations for the Southeast region.