The man who spearheaded Canary Wharf’s transformation from an abandoned dockyards to a thriving financial hub is to stand down as chief executive of the site’s owners after over two decades in the role, but will stay on as chairman of the company.
Sir George Iacobescu, who is currently both chief executive and chairman of the Canary Wharf Group, will split his roles and become the group’s executive chairman in October.
Iacobescu fled communist Romania in 1975, and has been with the Canary Wharf Group since it was founded in 1995. He was appointed chief executive in 1997, and has also held the position of chairman since 2001.
Shobi Khan, a real estate executive, will take over as chief executive in October. A Canary Wharf spokesperson said Iacobescu will remain involved in all aspects of the business “with direct responsibility for development and construction as well as external relations”.
“Canary Wharf has firmly established itself as the fastest growing financial centre in Europe; this new leadership structure will further support its continued expansion,” Iacobescu said.
“The company is entering a new phase as we seek to diversify our development and management activities, as well as expand through new projects and new locations,” he continued.
Iacobescu said Khan was “an exceptional candidate”, adding: “Together we look forward to strengthening our leadership team and preparing the company for the next phase of its growth.”
Khan described Canary Wharf as “one of the most iconic developments in the world”, and said he was “honoured to have the opportunity to join such an accomplished organisation and to have the opportunity to work closely with Sir George and the rest of the outstanding team”.