British Land appoints new chairman

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BRITISH Land has confirmed that its chairman, Chris Gibson-Smith, will be stepping down from the board at the end of the year.

He will be succeeded by John Gildersleeve, who joined British Land as a non-executive director in 2008, and is currently senior independent director.

Mr Gibson-Smith joined the British Land board in January 2003 as a non-executive director and became chairman in January 2007.

In a statement, British Land said: “He has made a considerable contribution to the company over the past 10 years during a significant period for the property industry.”

Mr Gibson-Smith said: “I have had a fascinating 10-year journey with British Land, and the last six years as chairman have been deeply rewarding. The company is in an excellent position with a first rate team, portfolio and strategy. We are delighted that he has agreed to deepen his connection with the company. His broad range of experience makes him an ideal chairman for British Land.”

Mr Gildersleeve added: “I am delighted to take on the role of chairman at British Land. The company is in good shape and I look forward to working with the team to ensure it continues its strong performance.”

Chris Grigg, the chief executive, said: “On behalf of British Land I’d like to thank Chris for his contribution to the company over the past 10 years and for the important part he has played during that time. I wish him success in his new role. I also look forward to working with John in his new capacity as chairman from the start of the New Year.”

In a statement to accompany its half year results, British Land said: “We were pleased to sign a new long-term joint venture agreement at Meadowhall (near Sheffield), our large super-regional shopping centre, with Norges Bank Investment Management one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.

“Meadowhall has performed strongly in recent years, benefiting from a targeted programme to attract a broader range of shoppers to the centre, extend its catchment area and increase dwell time. We look forward to working with Norges to continue to grow and develop Meadowhall.”