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Directorate Change


RNS Number : 7221W
Hammerson PLC
03 August 2009

David Atkins to succeed John Richards as Chief Executive on his retirement

The Board of Hammerson plc announces that John Richards will be retiring as Chief Executive of the Company on 30 September 2009. He has been with Hammerson for almost 30 years and has been Chief Executive for the last 10 years.

The Board, after a thorough evaluation process, has appointed David Atkins to the role of Chief Executive from 1 October 2009.  David is aged 43, has been with the Company for 11 years, and was appointed to the Board in 2007.  He is currently Managing Director of Hammerson’s UK business.

John Nelson, the Chairman of Hammerson, said:

“John has been an outstanding leader of the Company for many years. I want, on behalf of the Board, to record a huge debt of gratitude to him. He has been instrumental in the development of Hammerson into the company it is today. In David we are fortunate to have one of the strongest senior property executives in the industry, with a proven track record. He has the right qualities to lead the Company.”      

John Richards said:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my 30 years with Hammerson and it has been a real privilege to have been Chief Executive for the last 10 years. I have been discussing the future leadership of the Company with the Board for some time and I am delighted that David has been selected to succeed me. We have worked together for 11 years and I am confident he will continue to drive the business forward.”

David Atkins said:

 “I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed Chief Executive. This is an excellent time to be assuming the role.  We have a robust financial position, a strong and experienced management team and an outstanding portfolio.  I am excited by the future opportunities that I see for the Company.”


For further information:




John Nelson, Chairman

Tel:  020 7887 1000



Morgan Bone, Director of Corporate Communications

Tel:  020 7887 1009

Notes to Editors

1. David Atkins (43) started his career in 1988 with DTZ, the international property advisers, which he joined after graduating from Reading University.  He is a Chartered Surveyor. At DTZ he specialised in Central London office investment and development before focusing on fund management and M&A consultancy.

On joining Hammerson in 1998, he initially worked as Group Property Executive, reporting directly to the Chief Executive. He was responsible for strategy and investment performance, and worked on a number of overseas transactions, particularly in France.  He was appointed to the Board of the Company’s UK business in 2003 as Head of Retail Parks before assuming responsibility for all the UK retail assets as Head of UK Retail in 2006.  He was appointed a Director of Hammerson plc and Managing Director of the Group’s UK business in 2007.

He is a member of the British Council of Shopping Centres Advisory Committee and the British Property Federation Commercial Committee.

He is married with three children.

2. The process for evaluating the succession was conducted by a committee of the Board comprising the non-executive directors, chaired by John Nelson.  The committee took outside advice from Russell Reynolds Associates.

3. David Atkins’s salary as Chief Executive will be at the rate of £500,000 per annum.

4. John Richards will receive his contractual rights for his early retirement in accordance with his 12 month service contract.  This comprises salary, the average of the last three years’ bonuses and certain benefits in kind.  His pension will continue to accrue until the expiry of his 12 month notice period.  The shares already awarded to him under the LTIP will be pro-rated from the end of the notice period and will only vest in the event of the relevant financial targets being met.