Chris Benjamin, CEO of Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. (NYSE: ALEX), was a guest on the latest episode of Nareit’s REIT Report podcast.
Benjamin, who will step down as CEO on June 30, reflected on his tenure at A&B, why supporting community organizations has played an important complement to his executive role, the transformation the company has undergone and its decision to convert to a REIT, changing the culture of A&B and its progress on DEI issues, and more.
Benjamin said that now is a good time for a transition in leadership, given that “we have nearly completed the significant transformation that we’ve gone through as a company.” The leadership change also coincides with Benjamin’s 60 th birthday, a point at which he is eager to pursue new interests. Lance Parker, currently A&B's president & COO, has been appointed president & CEO effective July 1.
“We were a very diversified, operationally oriented conglomerate just 10 years ago…we’re now a Hawaii-focused commercial real estate company,” Benjamin said. “We’re looking more and more like a pure REIT these days. Even though we weren’t quite there in 2017, we decided that we were close enough to make the REIT conversion make sense. And we’re pleased that we did it,” he added.