Michael Strong, executive chairman of Los Angeles-based real estate services firm CBRE’s Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region, will retire at the end of 2015.
Strong, who has spent more than 40 years at CBRE and its predecessor companies, worked as executive chairman since 2001 and as chief executive of the EMEA regions from 2005 to 2012.
“CBRE has been a central part of my life for decades, and leaving behind my colleagues and valued clients will not be easy. But the timing is right. Our business in EMEA is in great shape. We just completed one of our best years ever in 2014,” said Strong, who added that the decision has been one of the most difficult of his career.
Under Strong, CBRE’s total revenue in EMEA has grown from $450 million to $2.3 billion over the past 10 years. In this time, its EMEA employee base has increased from 3,600 to nearly 12,000 and its client base has expanded by more than 50 percent.
Strong joined Richard Ellis (which was subsequently acquired by CBRE Group) in 1972. Over his career, he has advised major corporations, such as HSBC, McKinsey, and Shell, and consulted on landmark real estate projects, including Canary Wharf, the Lanesborough Hotel, and Westfield London.
“Mike Strong has had a brilliant career at CBRE,” said Bob Sulentic, chief executive of CBRE. “His tenure as executive chairman has been a period of dramatic growth for CBRE across EMEA and as important, continuous improvement in the quality and scope of service we provide our clients.”
Headquartered in Los Angeles, CBRE is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2014 revenue). The company has more than 52,000 employees and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 370 offices.
CBRE offers advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting.