Starwood Retail names DDR co-founder as CEO

NEW YORK, June 4 Mon Jun 4, 2012 3:35pm EDT

NEW YORK, June 4 (Reuters) - Starwood Capital Group said Monday that it hired the former head of big-box mall owner Developers Diversified, now called DDR Corp, to be chief executive officer of its new mall company.

Scott Wolstein was named CEO of Starwood Retail Partners, Starwood's new business to be based in Chicago that will operate at least seven malls.

Starwood has hired real estate investment trust CBL & Associates Properties Inc to temporarily manage the properties, including their accounting, maintenance and security, but not leasing, two sources familiar with the matter said. A Starwood spokesman declined to comment. A representative from CBL could not be reached for immediate comment.

Starwood is seeking to hire about eight executives including a chief operating officer, a head of leasing and a head of asset management to join Wolstein.

The co-founder and former CEO of Developers Diversified, which flourished during the U.S. commercial real estate boom, Wolstein stepped down as CEO and chairman in 2009 when the company found itself burdened with debt, vacancies left by bankrupt tenants and empty stores it purchased and was not able to lease.

He stayed on as executive chairman from 2010 until last year when he left with a $16 million pay package.

In 2011, Developers Diversified renamed itself DDR Corp.

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