Another major shakeup for Unibail Rodamco Westfield (ASX:URW) shareholders

It’s been a turbulent year for shareholders, with a volatile Unibail share price, a ‘reset’ plan, and major transformations in management.

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It’s been a turbulent year for Unibail Rodamco Westfield (ASX: URW) shareholders. At the end of October, the Unibail share price was down 74% for the 2020 calendar year. That’s rough, even for a retail landlord operating in today’s pandemic battered times.

Year to date, however, the Unibail share price is now ‘only’ down 59%. This comes after a major share price rally last week saw shares gain 62% so far in November.

Much of that rally was owed to shareholders voting to reject the supervisory board’s 3.5 billion euro (AU$5.7 billion) capital raising, part of the company’s ‘reset’ plan to pay off its burdensome debt load.

The defeat of the capital raising proposal saw chair of the board, Colin Dyer, resign earlier this week. Leon Bressler, one of the activist investors stringently opposed to the capital raise, was appointed as the new chair.

With so much managerial shakeup, Christophe Cuvillier, Unibail’s CEO, was left in a tenuous position.

Indeed, in an announcement released today, Unibail confirmed that Cuvillier has been replaced by Jean-Marie Tritant, with the transition to take place on 1 January 2021.

What did Unibail’s management say?

Commenting on the shakeup of CEOs, Leon Bressler said:

A transition phase is beginning for URW. I am delighted that Christophe Cuvillier has agreed to lead it for the Group. His long experience as CEO, particularly during the ongoing health and economic crisis, will be very valuable. I am convinced that Jean-Marie will lead the company with great success.

Jean-Marie Tritant added:

This appointment is for me an immense honour and I fully appreciate the trust that has been placed in me. URW is an exceptional company that I joined more than 20 years ago and is a leader in its sector. I know that I can count on the Group’s teams, their talent and their energy. Thanks to them, we will be able to build on the Group’s future successes.

I would like to commend the tireless work accomplished by Christophe Cuvillier at the helm of URW since 2013 and his commitment to ensure a smooth transition as from today.

The Unibail share price is down 1.12% in early afternoon trading.

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