David Neithercut, CEO of Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2018 Annual Conference in San Francisco.
Neithercut, who announced he would be stepping down as CEO of Equity Residential at the end of 2018 after 25 years on the company’s executive leadership team, said the biggest challenge he faced during his tenure was navigating the company through the Great Recession.
“[There was] a real liquidity issue, [with] stock prices down,” he said. “We took a lot of very important steps and weathered through that, and obviously we’ve all come out and have prospered since.”
Neithercut said he hopes to be remembered as a just leader. “I always try to do the right thing for investors, for the company, for the employees, and hopefully that will be what I’ll be remembered by,” he said.
Neithercut, who served as Nareit’s chair in 2015, has been an influential voice among the REIT industry and was awarded Nareit’s Industry Leadership Award at REITworld earlier this month. Mark Parrell, Equity Residential’s president, will succeed Neithercut as CEO in 2019. Neithercut hired Parrell 20 years ago, and he has reported to Neithercut for most of that time.
“[He’s a] very smart guy, very capable, hardworking, and I have great confidence in Mark,” Neithercut said. “I look forward to remaining on the EQR board and be accessible to Mark as necessary.”