After 16 years as Steven Roth's right-hand man at Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE: VNO
), Michael Fascitelli has called it a career at the high-profile REIT and will step down as president and CEO.
Fascitelli's resignation is effective April 15, 2013, although he will remain a member of Vornado’s board. According to Vornado, Fascitelli will take an extended break from the business before deciding on his future plans.
The REIT has re-appointed Roth as CEO, a position he previously held from May 1989 through May 2009, when Fascitelli was given the job.
Roth personally recruited Fascitelli, who headed the real estate investment group at Goldman Sachs before joining Vornado in 1996. The REIT aggressively expanded under the two hard-charging executives, eventually becoming one of the dominant owners of office and retail space in New York and Washington, D.C. It also became known as a highly successful developer of prominent office towers, but also tried to diversify through investments in so-called merchandise-market buildings and in distressed retailers J.C. Penney and Toys-R-Us.
More recently, in response to pressure from investors, Roth and Fascitelli have worked to trim back the REIT's diverse holdings and focus on its core office and retail holdings in New York and D.C.