Citycon Oyj's Board of Directors has appointed Marcel Kokkeel the company's new Chief Executive Officer, effective March 24, 2011. The company has also appointed Michael Schönach, Citycon Oyj's Executive Vice President, Finnish Operations and member of the Corporate Management Committee.
Kokkeel currently heads the Dutch Multi Corporation's West-Europe Division, and is the Chairman of Multi Mall Management Europe. Prior to that, he was Chairman of the Board of Bouwfonds Property Finance and made an extensive career at Royal Ahold N.V. holding latest the position of CEO and President of Ahold Real Estate Europe. He is 52 years old (b. 1958) and holds a degree in law from University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which is his home country.
"This is the right time for us to accelerate the growth of Citycon," said Chaim Katzman, Chairman of the Citycon Board of Directors. "Marcel Kokkeel is widely known and respected throughout Europe for his deep commercial real estate experience and background. He has special expertise in the shopping center sector, strong international background and leadership skills. His extensive industry experience and proven track record will help us with our plans to grow Citycon, and increase shareholder value."
"I am most excited to become part of a team dedicated to strengthening Citycon's position as the market leader in Finland, and I'm looking forward to growing the company's position in the other Nordic and Baltic countries", said Kokkeel. "I was attracted to this opportunity because of Citycon's unique concept, its strong position, and its cutting edge approach to sustainability. The company has talented and dedicated professionals in place, and I am confident that together we can continue enhance and grow our shopping center positions and commercial appeal."
Petri Olkinuora will continue as the company's CEO until the Annual General Meeting on March 23, 2011.
Michael Schönach, M.Sc. (Econ.), MBA, (b. 1975) will join Citycon Oyj as Executive Vice President, Finnish Operations and member of the Corporate Management Committee. Schönach is Austrian citizen, but was born and has studied in Finland. He will take up his position on March 1, 2011. Harri Holmström, Vice President of Citycon's Baltic Operations will continue as acting VP of Finnish Operations until then.
Schönach joins Citycon from the position of CEO of Catella Property Oy and Catella Corporate Finance Oy. Prior to that he held various positions at Deutsche Bank AG, with responsibility for, among others, real estate related investment banking advisory in the Nordic countries, Russia and CIS, Poland and the Baltic countries. Further, Schönach has several years of experience from working on the financial market at J.P. Morgan in London.
"Citycon has a portfolio of strong shopping centers that can be further developed together with the tenants and other stakeholders. The company has excellent possibilities to continue its profitable growth and I am very excited about the opportunity to develop Citycon's business operations in Finland," says Michael Schönach.