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Sulentic Takes Helm at CBRE Group

CEO Succession Plan Announced In May at Largest CRE Firm Among Several Leadership Changes at Leading Brokerage Firms
December 5, 2012
Brett White (left) was succeeded as CEO of CBRE Group by Bob Sulentic.
Brett White (left) was succeeded as CEO of CBRE Group by Bob Sulentic.
CBRE Group Inc. (NYSE: CBG) announced that the firm's president (and former Trammell Crow Co. CEO) Robert E. Sulentic took over as CEO of the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm on Dec. 1, replacing the retiring Brett White.

White, who led CBRE as its chief executive since 2005, oversaw substantial growth of client services and global capabilities of the company. His signature achievements include the acquisition of Trammell Crow in 2006 and the even bigger acquisition of the ING Real Estate Investment Management business in 2011.

Sulentic joined CBRE following the acquisition of Trammell Crow, where he had served as CEO. He was appointed president of CBRE in 2009 and will retain his current position. Sulentic also joined the board of directors, which has expanded to 11 members, and global operating committee of CBRE as part of his promotion to the top job.

Leadership changes have occurred at several of the largest CRE services providers as the end of the year approaches, most recently at worldwide CRE network NAI Global, which named Jay Olshonsky as president this week. Olshonsky replaces Jeffrey Finn, who will serve as an advisor throughout the transition period.

Last week, it was announced that Peter Roberts, Jones Lang LaSalle's veteran CEO for the Americas, will assume a new role as chief strategy officer, succeeded by the firm's current chief operating and financial officer, Lauralee Martin, changes that will take place at year-end.

CBRE’s White, who rose through the ranks from a sales trainee in 1984 to the company’s top post, was re-elected to the company’s board of directors at its annual shareholders’ meeting earlier this year and will remain on the board following his retirement.

As president, Sulentic had direct responsibility for running all business lines and operating segments, and also previously served as CFO, and before that, group president with responsibility for the EMEA, Asia Pacific and Development Services businesses.

"CBRE is a unique organization, and I am honored to serve as its CEO," Sulentic said. "Our company has many strengths, including our brand, culture, depth of resources and market intelligence, and most of all, our exceptional people.

"I look forward to working with our talented team to enhance our position across markets and business lines globally, drive growth, and produce excellent outcomes for clients, employees and shareholders."

Sulentic is a graduate of Iowa State University and Harvard Business School. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Staples, Inc., based in Framingham, MA.
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