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Donatelli Steps Down at First Potomac; REIT Promotes Milkovich to CEO

Chief Investment Officer Nicholas Smith Also Resigns
November 9, 2015
First Potomac promoted Robert Milkovich, its chief operating officer, to CEO following the unexpected resignation of Douglas J. Donatelli.
First Potomac promoted Robert Milkovich, its chief operating officer, to CEO following the unexpected resignation of Douglas J. Donatelli.
First Potomac Realty Trust (NYSE: FPO) made an unexpected change at the top of its corporate leadership, announcing the departure of long-serving chief executive Doug Donatelli and naming its chief operating officer, Robert Milkovich, as the firm's new CEO. Milkovich was also added to the firms' board of trustees.

In addition to Donatelli, the REIT's chief investment officer, Nicholas R. Smith, also resigned, effective immediately.

In a statement announcing the departures, First Potomac Chairman Terry L. Stevens said the changes were consistent with the company's "streamlined portfolio and focus on operational efficiency" following the divestiture of its industrial property portfolio in 2013 and plans to accelerate the planned sale of another $200 million in property. Those changes are part of the REIT's ongoing strategic initiative to focus as an owner and developer of office property in the Washington region.

"Our recently announced strategic initiatives are well underway and the Board believes that now is the right time for this leadership transition," said Stevens.

"I am honored that the Board has selected me to lead First Potomac, and I am excited about the company's significant potential," said Milkovich. "I look forward to continuing to work with the entire First Potomac team to advance the company's strategic transformation with an immediate focus on the execution of the sale of at least $200 million of assets."

Donatelli and Smith had led the company since 1997 when it owned a single property.

In September, First Potomac announced it had retained HFF to sell certain properties and development sites in northern Virginia and Sage Capital Advisors to sell its majority stake in Storey Park, a development site in Washington DC's NoMa submarket.

Together with other properties it planned to sell in the near-term, First Potomac planned to raise at least $200 million to be used to buy back shares under its previously announced share repurchase program and redeem the company's 7.75% Series A cumulative redeemable preferred shares beginning in late January 2016, as well as pay down debt.

Milkovich joined First Potomac in 2014. Prior to his appointment as chief operating officer, Milkovich was president of Spaulding & Slye Investments, a wholly owned subsidiary of JLL, where he headed the unit's investment committee and developed its investment portfolio strategies and sourced new business opportunities.

Before that, Milkovich was a regional director of Archon Group, a real estate investment arm of Goldman Sachs. He has also served as a market managing director for CarrAmerica Realty Corp. where he oversaw asset management, development activities, portfolio investments and acquisitions.

He currently serves as a director and Investment Committee member for the University System of Maryland Foundation and is on the board of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. He is also a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Office Development Counsel and is the president of The Real Estate Group in Washington, D.C.

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