Mall giant Vicinity's CEO to resign

Mall giant Vicinity's CEO to resign
Mall giant Vicinity's CEO to resign

Shopping centre giant Vicinity Centres has begun the search for a new chief executive with Angus McNaughton to retire at the end of this year.

The surprise announcement comes just under two years since Mr McNaughton stepped back into the top role in controversial circumstances following the merger that formed formed Vicinity.

"Including my time with Novion and its predecessor, CFS Retail Property Trust Group, I have been involved with this business for nearly 10 years," Mr McNaughton said in a company statement on Thursday.

"It has been a privilege to be part of Vicinity's transformation and, together with the board and executive team, to establish Vicinity's strategic direction.

"Vicinity is in a strong position and I am very confident in the highly competent executive team that we have built and their ability to drive the future growth of our business."

In August 2015, Mr McNaughton replaced Steven Sewell, who led Federation Centres when it merged with the larger Novion.

​But Mr Sewell's management styled irked the new board, which moved to axe its chief executive just two months after the the 2015 merger was formalised.

Mr McNaughton, who had stepped aside when the merger took place, was recalled and has led the growth of the renamed Vicinity, now an $11 billion property trust, since then.

The New Zealander has bedded down the amalgamation that created the second largest listed landlord of Australia retail property.

Among the highlights of his renewed tenure, Mr McNaughton has overseen a $660 million expansion of Chadstone shopping centre, now Australia's largest mall.

The mall is co-owned by Financial Review Rich Lister John Gandel, who is also Vicinity's largest shareholder and will be influential in the selection of the its next chief executive.

Among the challenges for Vicinity's next leader will be the rapidly changing retail environment that is forcing landlords to rework their massive shopping centres to re-engage shoppers enticed by the ease of online retailers such as Amazon  

Tags: 
Retail Trade Vicinity Centres

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