Real estate veteran steps down as Choice Properties REIT leader

One of the drivers of real estate investment trusts in Canada is to retire this year.

Stephen Johnson, president and CEO of Choice Properties REIT will step down on May 1, 2019 and will be succeeded by current COO Rael Diamond.

Both executives were appointed to their roles last year following Choice’s acquisition of Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (CREIT) where Johnson had been CEO for more than 20 years, around half of his real estate career.

"It has been a pleasure to have led CREIT for over 20 years.  Further, it has been an honour to have been instrumental in bringing together two strong real estate entities and to set the stage for Choice Properties' next evolution of growth,” he said. “I retire as President and CEO with the greatest confidence in the leadership team and in particular, Rael, who is very well suited to lead Choice Properties into the future.  I am proud of all that Choice Properties has accomplished and look forward to its continuing success." 

Visionary leader
Galen G. Weston, Chairman and CEO of George Weston Limited, the majority unitholder of Choice Properties, said the REIT has benefitted from Stephen Johnson’s leadership.

“We are grateful for the legacy of Stephen's vision, deep knowledge, and sound management during his tenure and wish him well. This transition from one of Canada's finest real estate executives to another keeps Choice Properties on a very strong course," he said.

Johnson will act as an advisor to Choice Properties for a period of 12 months from May 2019 and will transition his CEO role to Rael Diamond over the next few months.

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