TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2019 /CNW/ - Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX: CHP.UN, "Choice Properties") today announced that President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Johnson has decided to retire on May 1, 2019. He will be succeeded by Rael Diamond, who is currently Chief Operating Officer at Choice Properties.
Mr. Johnson and Mr. Diamond were appointed to their current roles following Choice Properties' acquisition of Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (CREIT) in May 2018. Prior to that acquisition, Mr. Johnson served as the Chief Executive Officer of CREIT for more than 20 years, during which time he shaped it into one of the country's preeminent real estate organizations.
"Choice Properties has benefited from Stephen's leadership, which was instrumental in cementing the powerful combination of two strong Canadian real estate businesses last year," said Galen G. Weston, Chairman and CEO of George Weston Limited, the majority unitholder of Choice Properties. "We are grateful for the legacy of Stephen's vision, deep knowledge, and sound management during his tenure and wish him well. This transition from one of Canada's finest real estate executives to another keeps Choice Properties on a very strong course."
Mr. Johnson said, "It has been a pleasure to have led CREIT for over 20 years. Further, it has been an honour to have been instrumental in bringing together two strong real estate entities and to set the stage for Choice Properties' next evolution of growth. I retire as President and CEO with the greatest confidence in the leadership team and in particular, Rael, who is very well suited to lead Choice Properties into the future. I am proud of all that Choice Properties has accomplished and look forward to its continuing success."
"We have in-hand ideal circumstances for succession," said Anthony Graham, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Choice Properties. "Rael assumes his new role after seven years with the business and four years as CREIT's President and COO. He understands both the organization and the industry exceptionally well, and we look forward to Rael's leadership through the next chapter of growth at Choice Properties."
Mr. Johnson has spent approximately 40 years in the real estate industry, including more than two decades leading CREIT. Mr. Diamond has nearly two decades of experience in asset management and real estate operations as a senior executive, including seven years with CREIT and Choice Properties.
Between now and May 1, 2019, Mr. Johnson will transition the role of CEO to Mr. Diamond, following which he will act as an advisor to Choice Properties for a period of 12 months.
About Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust: Choice Properties, Canada's preeminent diversified real estate investment trust, is the owner, manager and developer of a high-quality portfolio comprising 753 properties totaling 66.8 million square feet of gross leasable area. Choice Properties owns a portfolio comprised of retail properties predominantly leased to necessity‐based tenants; industrial, office and residential assets concentrated in attractive markets; and an unmatched development pipeline. Choice Properties' strategic alliance with its principal tenant, Loblaw Companies Limited, the country's leading retailer, is a key competitive advantage providing long-term growth opportunities. For more information, visit Choice Properties' website at www.choicereit.ca and Choice Properties' issuer profile at www.sedar.com.
SOURCE Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust
For further information: Mario Barrafato, Chief Financial Officer, Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, t (416) 628-7872, e Mario.Barrafato@choicereit.ca