It is an appointment that has the air of victory. The supervisory board of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) on Wednesday appointed a new chairman at the head of its management board, marking the success of opponents of the strategy of the outgoing management of the shopping center giant and that of the sling of shareholders conducted with entrepreneur Xavier Niel.
“At its meeting of November 18, 2020, the Supervisory Board of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield SE (URW) appointed Mr. Jean-Marie Tritant Chairman of the Management Board of URW SE, succeeding Mr. Christophe Cuvillier on January 1 2021 “, announced the group in a press release published in the evening on its website. This change of presidency comes less than a week after the takeover of the group’s supervisory board by opponents of the now ex-management, with the election at its head of Léon Bressler, former boss of the shopping center giant. who led a sling of shareholders with Xavier Niel. “During the transition phase, as of November 19, 2020, Mr. Tritant will assume the functions of URW Group Chief Operating Officer”, said the group.
A sling for a radical change of strategy
For a little over a month, a consortium of shareholders led by Léon Bressler, former CEO from 1992 to 2006 of the property company, and Xavier Niel, entrepreneur with many hats who notably founded Iliad, the operator’s parent company Free, called for a radical change of strategy for the group which notably owns the Forum des Halles in Paris. Léon Bressler and Xavier Niel questioned the purchase in June 2019 of the Anglo-Saxon giant Westfield for more than 20 billion euros, which indebted the property company, and demanded the sale of the centers acquired in the United States on this occasion.
By January 1, “A transition phase is beginning for URW. I am happy that Christophe Cuvillier has accepted to lead it in the service of the Group. His long experience as Chairman of the Management Board, particularly in the current phase of the current health and economic crisis, will be very valuable ”, said Léon Bressler, quoted in the press release. “During this transition phase, I will work as always to protect the group and help it get through this major crisis”, promised Christophe Cuvillier. Jean-Marie Tritant, for his part, wanted to “Salute the tireless work accomplished by Christophe Cuvillier at the head of URW since 2013 and his commitment to ensure the transition period which is beginning”.