After more than a decade at the business, Francis Salway has today revealed that he will be departing from his position as CEO of leading property firm Land Securities.
Salway will stand down from his position at the end of this financial year, March 31st 2012, and be replaced by current Managing Director of the company Robert Noel.
His announcement comes on the same day that Land Securities published third quarter trading results showing a fall in total sales but a rise in footfall at its UK shopping centres over the important Christmas period.
Retail sales fell 0.8 per cent in the last three months of 2011, reflecting the poor trading seen in all retail locations during the period, but footfall rose 1.5 per cent at its sites while across the UK shopper numbers fell.
Voids were up fractionally in the quarter to 3.4 per cent of its total retail portfolio, while the number of retail units its owns which are now occupied by businesses in administration jumped from 0.7 per cent in September to two per cent as of January 20th 2012.
More positively the commercial side of the business managed to reduce voids during the quarter and the currently under construction Trinity Leeds shopping centre is now 57.8 per cent pre-let.
Salway commented on the results: “Despite weak economic news flow, we have continued to make progress in the period having completed a number of development lettings, and further reduced void levels on our portfolio.
“As is to be expected in a period of economic uncertainty, letting transactions are taking longer to execute.”
Since becoming CEO in 2004, Salway has overseen the completion of over eight million sq ft of development projects including the One New Change shopping centre in the City of London.
On his exit the departing boss said that he was leaving Land Securities in “very good shape” but now wanted to “take on a new challenge for the balance of my career”.
Land Securities Chairman Alison Carnwath commented: “Francis has been an excellent CEO for Land Securities and has been unrelenting in his focus to build a more efficient and effective company. He leaves behind a robust business and a stronger team and it was clear to the board that he had also identified a natural successor.
“I, and the whole of the board, look forward to working with Robert as CEO and believe that with his leadership allied to our portfolio, people and financial strength we will deliver attractive levels of shareholder return through the cycle.”