Macerich CEO Art Coppola leaves

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After around 25 years in the position
  • Accolades, praise and thanks for Coppola
  • Search for a successor
  • Coppola spoke at length and said 149 words

(exechange) — Santa Monica, California, April 19, 2018 — Art Coppola, chief executive of Macerich, leaves. As announced by Macerich Company in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, April 19, 2018, Arthur M. (Art) Coppola leaves his post as Chief Executive Officer at the real estate investment trust company after around 25 years in the position, effective December 31, 2018.

It is the end of an era.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months was 9.7 years, according to data compiled by exechange. Only 12 percent of the CEOs who departed over the past 12 months left the position after more than 20 years.

Macerich will undertake a search for a successor.

Long goodbye

It is a long goodbye. The announcement of Coppola’s move comes up to eight months prior to his planned departure from the post of CEO.

In general, a top executive who announces the departure very early may be considered a lame duck.

Lengthy lead times give boards extra time to find replacements, and they also create uncertainty. Would-be successors may jockey for attention and workers may wonder who is actually in charge.

Generally speaking, lame-duck leaders can take a forceful role in selecting a successor and are not expected to launch major shifts.

No reason given

In the announcement, Macerich did not explicitly explain the reason for Coppola’s move, opening the door for speculation.

Precise information about Coppola’s future plans was not immediately available.


Macerich said: “Today Arthur Coppola announced that he will retire from his position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Macerich Company … after service to the Company and its predecessor for 42 years.”

Macerich further said: “On April 19, 2018, Arthur M. Coppola, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Macerich Company … informed the Board of Directors of the Company … of his retirement from the Company.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Macerich Company since July 2016.

In the position of CEO since 1993

Arthur M. Coppola has been the Chief Executive Officer of The Macerich Company since September 9, 1993.

As CEO since 1993, Art Coppola has led a visionary team at Macerich in creating distinctive retail destinations perfectly matched to retail demand in some of the most desirable markets in the United States.

Coppola, as Chairman of the Board and CEO of one of the premier real estate investment trusts in the country, guides an expansive national portfolio of high-performing retail properties, with a focus on adding value to assets and land holdings.

Coppola’s strategic vision for Macerich has driven the company’s growth with signature acquisitions and a robust development and redevelopment pipeline since he took on his current role more than 20 years ago.

A long-standing member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Coppola served as the 2007 Chair of the Board of Governors and is a current member of The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT).

Coppola was the 2009 recipient of NAREIT’s prestigious Leader in the Light award, which recognized his significant and lasting contributions to the industry.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Coppola joined Macerich in 1976.

He holds a law degree and a bachelor’s degree from Drake University and was admitted to the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants in 1973.

During Coppola’s tenure with the company, Macerich has grown from a privately held real estate enterprise into a dominant, publicly owned regional mall company that is part of the S&P 500, with a portfolio of approximately 54 million square feet of gross leasable area primarily in 48 regional shopping centers across the U.S.

In connection with his plans to retire, he will not stand for re-election as a director at the Company’s 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

Coppola is a founding partner of the original Macerich Group which he joined in 1976.

Steven Hash, who has been an independent member of the Board since May 2015 and the Board’s Lead Independent Director since August 2017, has been appointed to the role of Independent Chairman, a non-executive role, effective as of the 2018 Annual Meeting.

Coppola’s retirement as Chief Executive Officer will be effective as of December 31, 2018.


Generally speaking, when a top manager announces to step aside with no successor in place, it’s a signal that the move was unplanned and too early.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Art Coppola’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 17.2018 ($).