Glimcher Takes On CEO Role at Starwood

His extensive industry experience and far-reaching relationships make him a natural for this role. Glimcher began his career with Glimcher Realty Trust in 1991 and took over as CEO in 2005.

By Gail Kalinoski

Michael Glimcher, CEO, Starwood Retail Partners
Michael Glimcher, CEO, Starwood Retail Partners

Retail real estate veteran Michael Glimcher has been named CEO of Starwood Retail Partners, taking over from Scott Wolstein, who had led the Chicago-based division of Starwood Capital Group since its inception five years ago.

Wolstein will transition to a new role as a senior advisor at Starwood Capital Group.

“(Glimcher’s) extensive industry experience and far-reaching relationships position him to step seamlessly into this role,”  said Barry Sternlicht, chairman & CEO of Starwood Capital Group and Starwood Property Trust, in a prepared statement. “Scott was a great partner who was essential to creating and growing Starwood Retail Partners from its inception in 2012 to a portfolio of 30 malls and lifestyle centers across the United States.”

“Barry and Scott have assembled an outstanding portfolio with unlimited potential to create the ‘shopping venues of the future.’ I’m proud to work with the visionary leadership of Starwood and the excellent team of already assembled experienced and forward thinkers to maximize the value of our properties for our investors,” added Glimcher.

Extensive Retail Background

Glimcher began his career with Glimcher Realty Trust, a firm founded by his father Herb Glimcher in 1959. He had been in the family business since 1991 and took over as CEO in 2005. Glimcher continued as CEO after the Columbus, Ohio-based retail REIT merged in 2015 with Washington Prime Group, a spin-off of Simon Property Group. The combined company had 118 regional malls, lifestyle and community centers totaling about 67 million square feet at the time.

In June 2016, Glimcher resigned as CEO & vice chairman of the merged company which had been operating as WP Glimcher. Upon Glimcher’s departure, the company returned to the Washington Prime Group name.

The Starwood team cited Glimcher’s work at Glimcher Realty Trust, noting his successful repositioning of its portfolio from strip centers and small market malls with moderate performances and sales, to a 95-plus percent occupied, high-productivity portfolio of larger market malls and lifestyle retail centers.

“Michael has an intense passion for the retail business, is widely respected by his peers and has a deep understanding of what retailers and shoppers are looking for and how we, as landlords, must adapt. We will work together to take advantage of our combined platforms’ relationships and scale, further enhancing our ability to capitalize on the opportunities and face the challenges that are confronting the retail industry,” said Mark Deason, head of U.S. Asset Management for Starwood Capital Group, in a prepared statement.

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