Macerich Is Said Close to Announcing Plans for CEO Retirement

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(Bloomberg)—Macerich Co.’s chief executive officer has told the U.S. mall owner’s board that he plans to retire, according to people familiar with the matter.

Macerich could announce plans for Arthur Coppola to step down as soon as this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Coppola has been CEO since 1993 and is also chairman of the company. He joined Macerich in 1976, according the company’s website.

Starboard Value, the activist fund run by Jeff Smith, has built a position in Macerich and nominated a majority slate of directors to its board, a person familiar with the matter said this month.

Another activist fund, Dan Loeb’s Third Point, disclosed a stake in Macerich in November.

Coppola and representatives for Macerich didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mall owners including Macerich are trying to stay relevant as brick-and-mortar retailers shut stores at a record pace, buffeted by the rise of Amazon.com Inc. and other online competitors. Santa Monica, California-based Macerich’s shares have fallen almost 14 percent this year.

Last month, U.S. mall operator GGP Inc. agreed to be acquired by a unit of Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc. in a deal valued at about $15 billion. Brookfield has said it plans to unlock the value of the land GGP’s malls are built on and redevelop them with its expertise in multifamily residences, offices and hotels.

Macerich owns 48 regional shopping centers across the U.S., according to its website.

–With assistance from Scott Deveau.To contact the reporter on this story: Ed Hammond in New York at [email protected] To contact the editors responsible for this story: Elizabeth Fournier at [email protected] Michael Hytha

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