Nelson Mills Exits Position as CEO of Columbia Property Trust

The landlord tapped Oxford executive Adam Frazier to replace Mills as president and CEO

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Longtime Columbia Property Trust president and CEO Nelson Mills will leave his post and be replaced by Oxford Properties Group executive Adam Frazier, the landlord announced Tuesday.

Frazier will join Columbia on Sept. 19, after an eight-year stint as a vice president at Oxford, and steer the company through an increasingly volatile market for office landlords. 

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“Adam possesses a wealth of experience and expertise across asset management, investments and development that will greatly benefit Columbia and its stakeholders,” Mills said in a statement. “I am proud of our team’s success, reputation and culture and have every confidence that Adam will help take Columbia to even greater heights.”

Mills won’t ditch Columbia just yet and will remain as non-executive chairman of its board of directors. He has served as the company’s CEO since 2012 and leaves his role after stewarding Columbia’s $3.9 billion sale to investment manager PIMCO last year, which took Columbia private, even after the pandemic shrunk Columbia’s revenue. 

Columbia deals almost exclusively with office properties and its shares sank by about 60 percent once the pandemic hit. With big names like Meta, Amazon, Yelp, KPMG and now Lyft cutting office space as remote work remains here to stay, Frazier has his work cut out for him, but he was optimistic about Columbia’s future.

“I’m excited to join Columbia’s incredibly talented and dedicated team of real estate professionals,” Frazier said in a statement. “Nelson and the team have built an exceptional company, portfolio, and business platform, which is well positioned for future growth and success.” 

Adam Frazier.
Adam Frazier. Photo: Columbia Property Trust

Frazier will join Columbia after working on Oxford and Related CompaniesHudson Yards complex and Oxford’s redevelopment of the St. John’s Terminal building, which Google bought for a whopping $2.1 billion last year. 

He also spent just under seven years in development and leasing at Boston Properties, where he worked on law firm Morrison Foerster’s deal to take nearly 200,000 square feet at 250 West 55th Street in 2011. That transaction helped him win the Real Estate Board of New York’s award for most promising commercial salesperson of the year in 2012.

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.