A rendering of Mack-Cali Realty Corp.’s soon-to-be-upgraded Harborside complex in Jersey City — Courtesy: Mack-Cali
By Joshua Burd
Michael DeMarco is out as CEO of Mack-Cali Realty Corp., the company announced, following a year-long proxy fight that saw activist investors win control of its board of directors.
The Jersey City-based real estate investment trust said Monday that MaryAnne Gilmartin, its newly installed board chair, will serve as interim CEO effectively immediately. The board has formed a committee to oversee the search for a permanent CEO.
The move comes five years after DeMarco joined the REIT’s leadership team as president and three years after he became CEO. During that time, the finance and real estate industry veteran has spearheaded a plan to shed the company’s vast suburban office holdings and focus on higher-end submarkets and luxury multifamily development.
“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Michael for his service to Mack-Cali,” Gilmartin said. “I look forward to working with the talented Mack-Cali team and all of our stakeholders to ensure that the company operates at the highest level.”
The activist investors, led by Bow Street LLC, sought to take over Mack-Cali’s board in a battle that dates back to early last year. During that time, they’ve called for ousting DeMarco as CEO among other changes at the REIT.
Bow Street won control of the board in June ahead of Mack-Cali’s annual meeting. The company also announced Monday that the board has named Tammy K. Jones, who joined the board last month as a lead independent director, noting that she brings more than 25 years of real estate experience.
Gilmartin succeeded William L. Mack, the longtime board chair and founder of The Mack Co., who was slated to step down in line with the company’s retirement age policy. A former CEO and president of Forest City Ratner Cos., she was first elected to the board in 2019 as part of a slate nominated by Bow Street, a New York-based hedge fund.