CORNING, N.Y., June 22 -- James R. Houghton, who retired in 1996 after 13 years as Corning Inc.'s CEO, has been named the company's new chairman. Houghton, 65, whose great-great-grandfather founded the company 150 years ago, was elected as nonexecutive chairman of the board. Corning is the world's largest producer of optical fiber. John W. Loose, 59, who was elevated to CEO and president in January, said the company is "facing enormous challenges" and "extraordinarily challenging times require extraordinary actions." Houghton's help is needed, Loose said, "so that I may better access his experience in reshaping organizations during turbulent times and allowing me, along with my senior management team, to focus on the business issues." Roger Ackerman, 62, who succeeded Houghton in the top post in April 1996, stepped down as chief executive at the end of 2000 but stayed on as chairman through the company's annual shareholder meeting. He was elected as a company director for an extra year.