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ProLogis European chief stepping down

Gordon Keiser, chief executive of ProLogis European Properties, is retiring. He took up the post only last year. Since then, the company has had to reduce its development programme and reduce headcount as a result of restructuring and a need to reduce debt.

ProLogis's European arm has revealed its chief executive is stepping down.

Gordon Keiser, who turns 65 in April, is retiring from the firm. He took up his position only last year to replace Robert Watson.

In a statement, the Denver-based group said current chief financial officer of ProLogis European Properties, Peter Cassells, will become chief executive at the start of February. Before taking on the role of CFO, Cassells, 43, was a vice president at the company.

Denver based ProLogis, which externally manages ProLogis European Properties, has already seen its global chief executive leave the business. Jeffrey Schwartz, who was also chairman, resigned in November. His departure coincided with a group strategy u-turn which included reducing its development pipeline, reducing headcount and trying to slash debt.

In total, ProLogis manages 18 property funds. All except ProLogis European Properties are private.

ProLogis European Properties has developed from being a private fund to becoming a company listed on the Euronext exchange in Amsterdam in 2006. It is a significant investor in ProLogis European Properties Fund II (PEPF), the private equity real estate fund managed by ProLogis which closed in 2007 on €3 billion ($4.6 billion) of commitments from 21 investors.