Gilmartin to be Forest City Ratner CEO

Bruce Ratner will remain executive chairman of the development firm

From left: Bruce Ratner and MaryAnne Gilmartin
From left: Bruce Ratner and MaryAnne Gilmartin

Forest City Ratner’s CEO Bruce Ratner announced today that his chief lieutenant MaryAnne Gilmartin would replace him as chief executive, a move expected since news of Ratner stepping down broke in January. Ratner will remain chairman of the development company.

“It is important for me and the industry to recognize MaryAnne’s role in leading our major efforts, from Atlantic Yards to New York by Gehry,” Ratner said in a press release. “While I will stay involved in key projects like Barclays Center, Atlantic Yards and Ridge Hill, and be active in strategic planning and new initiatives, it is the right time to make this change.” 

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“I am thrilled to partner with Bruce and to continue his culture of excellence, while further driving the innovation that he has brought to this company,” Gilmartin, who is currently Forest City’s executive vice-president in charge of commercial and residential development, said in the statement. “Bruce Ratner created more than a great company. He created a great environment in which people work together to achieve a shared vision of development as something transformative.”

Since joining Forest City in 1994, Gilmartin has been a key player in some of the company’s biggest projects, including the fight to develop the controversial Atlantic Yards project, as The Real Deal reported. In the release, Ratner added that though he and Gilmartin thought on the same wavelength, and could “finish each others’ sentences, we also approach opportunities and challenges in a different and complementary way.”

Women such as Gilmartin and Vornado’s Wendy Silverstein are increasingly taking on positions of top responsibility and beginning to dismantle the boy’s club that still dominates the real estate development industry, as The Real Deal reported. —Hiten Samtani