Chicago-based Equity Office Properties Trust, the largest REIT in the U.S., has named its former chief operating officer to the position of CEO. Richard Kincaid, 41, will officially become CEO next April. He has worked for the firm since 1995.

Sam Zell, chairman and founder of EOP, became interim CEO last April after then-CEO Timothy Callahan abruptly resigned. The Kincaid announcement ends a seven-month search for a new CEO. "Richard has demonstrated extensive leadership qualities during his roles as CFO and COO at Equity Office," says Zell.

Kincaid will have a demanding task ahead of him at EOP as he guides the REIT through a very tough office recession.

The firm was originally seeking to bring in an outsider for the post. A few months ago, Zell even downplayed Kincaid’s chances of filling the post, reportedly stating that Kincaid "wasn’t quite ready" to tackle the CEO position. Recently, Zell changed his mind. "At the end of the day, it was evident that Richard was the highest quality and correct choice for this position," says Zell.

EOP has 744 buildings that encompass over 127 million sq. ft.