Hammerson’s chief executive to step down after ten years

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Retail property group Hammerson has announced its chief executive is stepping down after a decade in the post.

David Atkins will leave the firm by next spring at the latest as it begins the search for his successor.

Listed Hammerson owns a string of major shopping centres and retail parks across the country including Bullring in Birmingham, Cabot Circus in Bristol, Victoria Gate in Leeds and Leicester’s Highcross.

But the company has been undertaking a concerted programme of disposals in recent years aimed at reducing debt and strengthening its balance sheet.

In February, it posted a drop in rental income of £39 million in its full year results for 2019 and announced it was slashing dividends by half.

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Mr Atkins, who joined Hammerson in 1998 and became chief executive in 2009, said: “It has been a privilege to have led Hammerson for over ten years and I am proud of the many achievements and the incredible colleagues I have worked with.

“The current environment, exacerbated by the impact of covid-19, is undoubtedly the most challenging we have faced as a business.

“I feel now is the right time to search for a new chief executive, a person who can not only lead the business as we emerge from this period but also into its next chapter.”

Chairman David Tyler added: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank David for his enormous commitment in leading Hammerson during the past decade.

“He has led the company with ambition, passion and integrity, creating a culture that will live far beyond his time.

“He has developed Hammerson significantly through the growth of our premium outlets business, the geographical diversification of our portfolio, our market leading sustainability framework and the establishment of our City Quarters strategy.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with him until a successor is appointed.”

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