Cushman & Wakefield Inc. announced Tuesday that John Elkann, the head of its majority owner, has been appointed chairman of the global real estate services firm.
He replaces Carlo Barel di Sant'Albano, who will serve in the new post of international CEO for the New York-based firm, according to a news release. Elkann assumes the role in addition to his job as chairman and CEO of Exor SpA, C&W's controlling shareholder and chairman of Italian automaker Fiat.
It’s the latest high-level personnel move for C&W, one of the biggest names in commercial real estate, which has offices in East Rutherford, Edison and Morristown. The firm in December named Edward C. Forst, a longtime Goldman Sachs executive, its new president and CEO.
Forst replaced di Sant'Albano, who had also held that post on an interim basis after the June resignation of former CEO Glenn Rufrano.
In a statement circulated to media outlets, Forst said Elkann "brings with him significant international perspective and a record of dynamic leadership.
"He has also been a strong supporter of C&W since Exor became our majority shareholder in 2007 and his appointment as chairman will help accelerate the execution of our strategy as we drive toward the firm's centennial in 2017," Forst said.
Elkann added that C&W "is one of Exor's largest investments and we are strongly committed to supporting its development, helping it to achieve its full potential as a premier global real estate firm. I look forward to working closely with Ed, his leadership team and the 16,000 professionals of C&W all around the world."
Exor, the investment giant run by Italy's Agnelli family, has been C&W's majority shareholder since 2007 and also has a controlling stake in Fiat.
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