Charles A. Ratner, head of diversified
REIT real estate operating company Forest City Enterprises, revealed today he will be stepping down as president and CEO effective June 10. His replacement will be David J. LaRue, currently an executive vice president and COO who has been with the company for 25 years. When LaRue will assume his new responsibilities, Ratner will become the chairman of Forest City's board of directors.
During a conference call with investors earlier today, Ratner assured shareholders and analysts that the changes should not signal any troubles inside the company. He attributed the move to the fact that he will be turning 70 this summer, an age by which he always felt he should have a successor in place. As chairman of the board, Ratner plans to continue playing a very active role in the company.
Most good companies need to have a great partnership and balance between young, aggressive talent and the kind of experience and wisdom that comes from longevity, he said.
LaRue will be the first president and CEO in Forest City's history not related to the Ratner family. But given his long track record with the company, the Ratners said they felt very confident having him at the helm.