// Hammerson CEO David Atkins to step down, but will stay in post until spring 2021 the latest
// Resignation comes as Hammerson suffers cashflow issues induced by the coronavirus crisis
// Atkins first joined Hammerson in 1998 and was promoted CEO in 2009
Hammerson chief executive David Atkins is set to resign, as the shopping centre giant faces a cashflow crisis from shop closures and a collapse in rent due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The news also comes just weeks after the company saw the collapse of a £400 million deal to sell seven of its retail parks to private equity firm Orion.
Atkins will remain in post until spring 2021 at the latest to allow Hammerson to conduct a search for his successor.
- Hammerson may need £500m to survive Covid-19, analysts warn
- Hammerson’s £400m retail park sale collapses as buyer pulls out
- 2/3 of rent not paid to Hammerson as retailers suffer coronavirus impacts
Atkins first joined Hammerson in 1998, focusing on overseas transaction in France.
In 2002, he was promoted to the UK retail parks portfolio and in 2006, the wider UK retail portfolio.
Atkins was then appointed to Hammerson’s board in 2007 and has been chief executive since 2009.
“It has been a privilege to have led Hammerson for over 10 years and I am proud of the many achievements and the incredible colleagues I have worked with,” he said.
“The current environment, exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19, is undoubtedly the most challenging we have faced as a business.
“I feel now is the right time to search for a new chief executive, a person who can not only lead the business as we emerge from this period, but also into its next chapter.”
Hammerson chairman David Tyler said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank David for his enormous commitment in leading Hammerson during the past decade.
“He has led the company with ambition, passion and integrity, creating a culture that will live far beyond his time.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with him until a successor is appointed.”
Profits and rental income at Hammerson fell even before the coronavirus crisis struck, as the firm reshaped its portfolio.
Its net rental income last year was down 11.2 per cent to £308.5 million while full-year adjusted profits dropped 10.9 per cent to £214 million.
Hammerson also received just 37 per cent the rent it was owed across its UK centres for the second quarter ending March 25, the quarter when the pandemic gripped the world and lockdowns were implemented.
Hammerson is the owner of Birmingham’s Bullring, London’s Brent Cross, Cabot Circus in Bristol, Highcross in Leicester, Victoria Gate in Leeds and many other shopping centres across the UK, France and Ireland.