Rob Noel yesterday took over the role of group chief executive of Land Securities, the UK’s largest commercial property company, from Francis Salway.

Noel, 47, is highly esteemed in the property sector and joined Land Securities as the head of its lucrative London portfolio two years ago from smaller rival Great Portland Estates, where he was property director.

Noel is a product of the leading public school Marlborough and had previously spent time at the property agency Nelson Bakewell.

Under his watch, Land Securities has been pushing ahead in London with the development of the so-called Walkie Talkie skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street, and last year completed the One New Change shopping mall next to St Paul’s cathedral.

As chief executive of the company, Noel will now have plenty of choices to make, including whether to go ahead with the 375,000 sq ft 30 Old Bailey and 60 Ludgate Hill office redevelopment in the City of London – which received planning approval last summer – as well as securing tenants for its skyscraper scheme.

In a statement yesterday Noel said:

“I have enjoyed my two years running the London Portfolio and I am now looking forward to leading the group. Land Securities has a clear strategy and is a very well positioned business.”

Noel’s promotion will see him receive a base salary of £680,000 next year, a 60 per cent pay rise on last year when he was paid a total package of £833,000 including bonuses.