Lowy starts to hand over Westfield
FRANK Lowy is handing the day-to-day control of shopping centre giant Westfield Group to his sons, just over 50 years since he co-founded the company in Sydney’s western suburbs.
Mr Lowy’s first step toward exiting the company, now worth more than $ 22.2 billion, is one of several changes to Westfield’s board announced on Wednesday that are set to take effect from late-May.
His son David Lowy and high-ranking businessman David Gonski will depart t heir r ol es as directors, while chief financial officer Peter Allen will take a seat at the board, pending shareholder approval.
The 80-year-old Frank Lowy, one of Australia’s richest people, will step down as chairman to become non-executive chairman, which means he will no longer hold an operational role in Westfield or be connected to its daily business.
Brian Schwartz, a Westfield director since 2009, will become deputy chairman.
Frank Lowy’s other two sons, Peter and Steven, cur- rently joint managing directors, will also be joint chief executives when the changes take effect at Westfield’s annual general meeting on May 25.
Frank Lowy, who founded Westfield with John Saunders in 1959 with the construction of a shopping centre in Blacktown, said he would remain involved with the company despite the move.
‘‘ I am healthy and committed and I will continue to contribute to the group which has been my life for more than 50 years,’’ he said.
‘‘ The time is right for these moves. They clarify my ongoing role and put the leadership in the best position to make the most of the growth opportunities ahead.’’
He will continue in his role as chairman of the Football Federation of Australia and the Lowy Institute for International Policy.
David Lowy has been a member of the Westfield board f or 34 years, and played a key role in its move to the United States, where it now owns 55 shopping centres.
NEW ERA: Frank Lowy ( second from left) with Westfield
executives David, Steven and Peter Lowy