CBRE Group Makes Appointments at the Top

CBRE Group Inc. has announced that Calvin Frese will step into the position of CEO of the company's Americas business, Mike Lafitte will serve as Global President of CBRE Services, and two other company veterans will take on new roles.

CBRE Group Inc. has just pushed a handful of its leaders up the ladder. The commercial real estate services recently revealed that Calvin Frese will step into the position of CEO of the company’s Americas business, Mike Lafitte will serve as Global President of CBRE Services and two additional company veterans will take on new roles.

Sometimes the best people for the job are right under your nose. “The appointments underscore CBRE’s focus on careful, well-thought-out succession planning at all levels of the organization,” a CBRE spokesperson told CPE. “We place great emphasis on having the right people in the right positions.”

The promotions come on the heels of CBRE’s announcement of its CEO succession plan in May. Current CEO, Brett White, will retire at the end of the year and Robert Sulentic, company president, will step into White’s shoes. Now the succession planning continues.

Cal Frese

Frese has cultivated a background at CBRE that will serve him well as CEO of the Americas Business. At the firm, he has held such high-level positions as group president of Global Services, chief operating officer of the Americas region and president. He has a strong history of leadership with the company. His name is attached to such transactions as CBRE’s 2003 acquisition of Insignia/ESG and its 2006  purchase of  Trammell Crow Co. “There is tremendous growth potential in the Americas, and it is essential that we have a strong leader with a proven ability to maximize our opportunity in this region; Cal is such a leader,” Sulentic said.

Mike Lafitte

Lafitte moves from President, Americas, to global head of CBRE services, a job that gives him executive responsibility for the firm’s service-company operations from the Americas to the EMEA region to Asia Pacific. He is also tasked with overseeing operations for Global Corporate Services. His previous work includes leading CBRE’s Asset Services business in the Americas and Global Corporate Services, and serving as President of Global Services for Trammell Crow Co., prior to CBRE’s acquisition of the firm. He brings to the table a history of nearly three decades in the commercial real estate industry.

Chris Kirk

Chris Kirk, CBRE’s global director of human resources has also moved up and is now the firm’s chief administrative officer. With executive responsibility for key Shared Services functions, he will have a close eye on sourcing & procurement, information technology and corporate communications. Additionally, he will supervise the firm’s program management office, human resources and workplace strategy and global research. In addition to having served as global director of human resources, Kirk has held the titles of chief operating officer and general counsel at Trammell Crow.

Laura O’Brien

CBRE has also tapped Laura O’Brien to take on the post of global director of human resources and workplace strategy, moving forward from her previous position of senior vice president, global facilities and special projects. O’Brien will spearhead CBRE’s worldwide human resources operations, a job that will give her a significant place in the lives of 34,000 employees. She will manage a long list of vital procedures in the areas of employee relations, staffing and recruitment, training and professional development, diversity and compensation and benefits.   Her responsibilities will also extend to global facilities. O’Brien’s diverse background with CBRE renders her well-armed for her new role. Her background at the firm includes sales, an area in which she served as senior vice president.