Marty Burger Out as Silverstein CEO

Longtime CEO will be replaced by Larry Silverstein’s daughter, Lisa Silverstein

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Silverstein Propertieslongtime CEO Marty Burger has left the firm and been replaced by founder Larry Silverstein’s daughter, Lisa Silverstein.

“Silverstein Properties is sharpening its focus on its core businesses as the company transitions to the next generation,” a spokesperson for Silverstein said in a statement. “As part of that transition, the company is parting ways with Marty Burger.”

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The spokesperson said that Lisa Silverstein stepped into the role Wednesday. News of Burger’s departure was first reported in the Wall Street Journal.

“We wish Marty great success in his future endeavors, and will support him as he takes the next steps in his career,” the Silverstein spokesperson added.

A source familiar with the matter said Burger’s departure stemmed from a change in direction at Silverstein. Instead of focusing on expanding its footprint and portfolio, the landlord is “going in the opposite direction,” whereas Burger was in charge of expanding Silverstein’s business.

“Larry’s not 60 years old anymore,” the source said about the company’s shift in strategy, adding that Burger’s departure has been speculated on for a while.

It’s unclear if Burger has a new job. In a statement issued by a spokesperson Thursday afternoon, Burger said he was “eager to pursue new opportunities and look forward to having more to say in the near future.”

“The opportunity to develop and grow the Silverstein platform and to build this great team over the last 14 years has been an honor,” Burger said in the statement. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished. … I wish Larry, the family, and all the staff the best, and thank them for their support.”

A native of Huntington, Long Island, Burger had a long stint in real estate before joining Silverstein, cutting his teeth at Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall real estate investment fund and becoming one of Stephen Ross’s top deputies at The Related Companies.

When the elder Silverstein began searching for an heir apparent in 2006, he was impressed by stories of Burger’s boundless work ethic and energy, and eventually tapped him as co-CEO in 2009, as Commercial Observer previously reported.

“I had spoken to a number of people who have high regard for him, and I appreciated his background,” Larry Silverstein previously told CO. “Here was a guy who is talented at many areas of the business and has a lot of experience.”

Burger shared CEO duties with Silverstein until 2014, when he took sole ownership of the title, with Silverstein staying on as chairman.

While at the helm of Silverstein, Burger helped steer the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site that started before his tenure, and he has recently made a push toward office-to-residential conversions. The company went into contract to buy 55 Broad Street from Rudin last year with plans to turn the property into residential, with the deal closing for $172.5 million in July.

Silverstein Properties began trying to raise $1.5 billion at the end of 2022 to target more office-to-residential conversions around the country. Burger also made Silverstein’s first acquisition outside of New York in 2019 when it bought 1735 Market Street in Philadelphia for $452 million.

Burger’s replacement, Lisa Silverstein, has been working for the family firm for 28 years, and her husband, Tal Kerret, serves as the president of the company. In an interview with Forbes last year, Lisa Silverstein said she was involved in the design of every building and new technology development at the company and stressed the importance of putting money behind people.

“The most important element in everything I do is people,” she said. “I like to invest in people rather than things.” 

Silverstein wasn’t the only real estate dynasty seeing a shakeup in the C-suite on Thursday. Rudin Management Company announced a succession plan that will start next year as William Rudin steps down as CEO and his children, Samantha Rudin Earls and Michael Rudin, take over as co-CEOs. Longtime Chief Investment Officer Neil Gupta will become president, replacing Eric Rudin and becoming the first person outside the Rudin family to hold that title.

Update: This story has been updated to include a comment from Marty Burger.

Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at nrizzi@commercialobserver.com.