Shortly after ArvinMeritor Inc. celebrated its one-year anniversary, it appears the company will lose one of its founders. Rumors surfaced here in Traverse City that Bill Hunt would soon step down as the company’s vice chairman and president. Mr. Hunt, 56, raked in $10 million in 2000, most of it in stock options, according to ArvinMeritor’s proxy statement. He was in line to succeed Larry Yost as chairman, likely in 2003.

The succession plans also called for Mr. Hunt to become chief executive in October 2002. Mr. Yost spoke at Wednesday’s conference, but he would not comment on the rumor. Mr. Hunt had been chairman and chief executive of Arvin Inc. last year when the merger with Meritor, the former Rockwell Automotive, was announced. Mssrs. Hunt and Yost were to share power.