John Elkann has joined Cushman & Wakefield as chairman of its Board of Directors, the firm announced today.
The 38-year-old Agnelli family heir is chairman and CEO of investment company EXOR, S.p.A., which became C&W’s controlling shareholder in 2007.
“[C&W] is one of EXOR’s largest investments and we are strongly committed to supporting its development, helping it to achieve its full potential as a premier global real estate firm,” Mr. Elkann said in a statement.
He replaces Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano, who will be stepping down as chairman to take on a greater operational role as International CEO, a newly-created position. Mr. Sant’Albano also served as interim CEO following Glenn Rufrano’s departure last year until the subsequent hiring of Edward Forst as president and CEO in December.
Mr. Elkann brings “significant international perspective and a record of dynamic leadership,” Mr. Forst said in a statement. “His appointment as chairman will help accelerate the execution of our strategy as we drive toward the firm’s centennial in 2017.”
Mr. Elkann is also chairman of Fiat S.p.A., Giovanni Agnelli e C. S.a.p.a.z. and Editrice La Stampa. He is a board member of CNH Industrial N.V., The Economist Group, News Corporation and Banca Leonardo.
He is the grandson of Giovanni Agnelli, an Italian industrialist who co-founded automaker Fiat and has been referred to as the richest man in modern Italian history.
Mr. Sant’Albano’s new responsibilities will include business and client activities in Asia Pacific and South America. He will report to Mr. Forst.