The Real Deal Chicago

JLL hires former Starbucks retail executive as its top bean-counter

The global real estate firm had been searching for a new CFO since Christie Kelly stepped down in September
By Alex Nitkin | March 05, 2019 11:00AM

JLL CFO Stephanie Plaines and their headquarters at the Aon Center (Credit: JLL, iStock, and Wikipedia)

JLL named Stephanie Plaines its new chief financial officer, replacing the interim executive who took over the position after Christie Kelly announced her resignation in September.

Plaines will join the $7.6 billion real estate services firm later this month after a two-year stint as CFO of U.S. retail for Starbucks, JLL announced Tuesday morning. Before that she was CFO of e-commerce for Walmart’s Sam’s Club stores, and she previously oversaw finances at Ahold Delhaize, PepsiCo and UBS.

Chief Administrative Officer Trish Maxson has served as interim CFO for JLL since Kelly’s departure.

Plaines will report directly to CEO Christian Ulbrich and sit on the company’s Global Executive Board, according to the announcement.

Plaines will “bring her significant experience in financial leadership in businesses across the world to play a key leadership role in the continuing implementation of our Beyond strategic vision and transformation agenda,” Ulbrich said in statement.

JLL’s stock value shot up last month after the company’s fourth quarter earnings call, when Ulbrich announced the company recorded a 25-percent year-over-year spike in global leasing revenue. The company has increasingly shifted its attention toward co-working firms, which its leaders predict will represent up to 30 percent of the office market by 2030.

JLL Spark, the firm’s venture capital arm backed by a $100 million fund, has made seed or series-A investments in at least 10 tech startups since it launched last year.