// Hammerson’s CEO candidate Simon Betty steps down just days after the firm raised £800m
// Betty first joined Hammerson in 2006
Hammerson’s leading candidate for chief executive has reportedly stepped down, days after the shopping centre giant raised almost £800 million to shore up its balance sheet.
Simon Betty first joined Hammerson in 2006, and is set to resign to take up a new job at a European company, Sky News reported.
Betty’s decision to quit rules out the prospect of Hammerson promoting an internal successor to its veteran chief executive David Atkins.
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Hammerson said earlier this year that Atkins would leave no later than next spring.
Hammerson has seen its shares drop by over 70 per cent during the past year.
It recently collected only 16 per cent of the rent it was owed by retail tenants ahead of the third quarter.
Hammerson’s focus on fortifying its finances came just weeks after rival Intu collapsed into administration.
Hammerson and Intu also came close to merging in 2018.
This week, the Bullring centre owner confirmed that it had raised £550 million from an emergency rights issue and another large sum from the sale of a portfolio of European shopping centres known as VIA Outlets.
Hammerson is now facing increased pressure to appoint a new chief executive, with the former chief executive of Land Securities, Rob Noel, due to take over as chairman next week.