CBRE is readying for the retirement of CEO Brett White by making some high-level personnel moves. The largest commercial real estate firm in the world, CBRE announced in May that Bob Sultentic, its president (and former CEO of Trammell Crow Co.), would replace White as CEO at the end of the year.
Now, it has named Mike Lafitte global president over CBRE Services, a newly created position. He’ll have executive responsibility for the company’s service operations worldwide, including the Americas, Europe/the Middle East/Africa, Asia Pacific, and Global Corporate Services.
Laffite, a well-known Dallas real estate exec, previously served as president of the Americas division—CBRE’s largest business segment, with $3 billion in annual revenue and more than 20,000 employees. He joined Trammell Crow Co. in 1997 and served as market leader in Dallas before moving up to regional and global posts. He shifted to CBRE in 2006 after it acquired Crow.
Lafitte will continue to work out of Dallas.
Also in Dallas, Chris Kirk has been named chief administrative officer for CBRE Group Inc. He’ll oversee key shared services functions, including sourcing and procurement, information technology, corporate communications, program management office, human resources and workplace strategy, and global research.
Kirk previously served as global director of human resources. Prior to that he was chief operating officer and general counsel at Trammell Crow and played a key role in executing the merger of the two firms.
Other big announcements from CBRE include Cal Frese’s appointment as CEO, Americas. It’s a return of sorts; Frese previously led the Americas business as COO then as president, before taking various positions within CBRE’s global organization, beginning in 2009. The business lines he headed include global corporate services, asset services, and valuation and advisory.
Previously, as head of the Americas segment, Frese oversaw CBRE’s mergers with both Trammell Crow and Insignia/ESG.
Frese will work out of Chicago.
In Los Angeles, Laura O’Brien will assume Kirk’s previous role as global director of human resources, overseeing about 34,000 employees. She also has responsibility for global facilities, including the firm’s “Workplace Strategy” initiative.
O’Brien previously was senior vice president of global facilities and special projects.