Stephen Green, who founded the predecessor to SL Green Realty and saw the company go from an owner-operator of Class B buildings to New York’s largest commercial landlord, is stepping down as chairman, the real estate investment trust announced Monday.
Marc Holliday, who has been CEO of SL Green since 2004, will also assume the chairman title, the company said in an SEC filing. Green, 80, will become chairman emeritus in January, and will no longer be an employee of the firm at that time. His total compensation was cut to reflect his reduced responsibilities.
The company’s total holdings include more than 53 million square feet of space, predominantly in Manhattan, with an enterprise value of north of $20 billion and total revenues of $1.8 billion, according to the SEC filing. Its holdings include 11 Madison Avenue, which it bought from the Sapir Organization for $2.3 billion, the Graybar Building at 420 Lexington Avenue, and an upcoming skyscraper at One Vanderbilt Avenue.
After stints in tax and criminal law and garment manufacturing, Green moved into real estate, and founded SL Green Properties in 1980 with a focus on acquiring and upgrading Class B buildings on side streets. By the 1990s, the company had a $500 million portfolio and was gearing up to go public. The industry’s landscape was beginning to get increasingly securitized, and real estate bosses started looking to Wall Street for talent. Steven Roth, for example, hired Michael Fascitelli from Goldman Sachs in 1996. A year after he took SL Green public, Green brought Holliday over in 1998 as chief investment officer, and handed over the CEO reins to him in 2004.