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Acuity Brands names Nagel as next CEO

ATLANTA, January 21, 2004 – Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI) today
announced that effective January 20, 2004, Vernon J. Nagel, age 46, was
elected to the Board of Directors and appointed Vice Chairman in addition to his
current position of Chief Financial Officer. Nagel will succeed James S. Balloun,
age 65, as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer upon Balloun’s retirement
effective September 1, 2004, which is the beginning of Acuity Brands’ 2005 fiscal
year. John K. Morgan was appointed President and Chief Development Officer
and will report to Nagel, as will Kenneth W. Honeycutt, Jr., President and Chief
Executive Officer of Acuity Brands Lighting, and James H. Heagle, President and
Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Specialty Products, effective immediately. The
Company expects to name a Chief Financial Officer to replace Nagel in that
position prior to September 1.

“This succession decision is the result of a thorough assessment process carried
out over the past six months, and I’m delighted to make this announcement,” said
Balloun. “Vern Nagel is highly qualified to lead Acuity Brands. He joined us as
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at our formation two years

ago after a successful career, most recently with the Kuhlman Corporation. He
has led efforts to pay down our debt, provided leadership in shaping our vision,
and developed an insightful understanding of our people and businesses in his
tenure with Acuity Brands. We are also fortunate that John Morgan, in his new
role, will be focused on enhancing our branding, marketing, and business
development capabilities, with particular emphasis on strategic customers and
key channels of distribution. Vern, John, and our operating presidents, Jim
Heagle and Ken Honeycutt, form a highly qualified operating team which I
believe is capable of leading Acuity Brands to new levels of performance and
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said Nagel. “Acuity Brands is a terrific
company with a bright future and a great leadership team. I believe that we have
a solid foundation, our strategy is sound, and we are accelerating execution on
key initiatives to improve our performance and better serve our customer base. I
look forward to working with the Board and the more than 11,000 employees of
Acuity Brands in building a high performance organization for all stakeholders.”

Fore more information, please contact:

Peter Schreiber
Vice President, Communications
214 Oakwood Avenue
Newark, Ohio 43058
(740) 349-4241


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