Gibson to Succeed Pelusi as CEO of HFF; Thornton Named President

Veteran HFF Inc. executive Mark Gibson will succeed John Pelusi as the firm’s CEO. Joe Thornton, another longtime leader at the company, will take Pelusi’s place as managing member of HFF’s two operating partnerships and will also assume the title of president. Both appointments, and Pelusi’s resignation, will take effect next April 1.

Veteran HFF Inc. executive Mark Gibson will succeed John Pelusi as the firm’s CEO, the capital markets services firm announced last night. Joe Thornton, another longtime leader at the company, will take Pelusi’s place as managing member of HFF’s two operating partnerships, HFF L.P. and HFF Securities L.P., and will also assume the title of president.

Both appointments, and Pelusi’s resignation, will take effect next April 1. Pelusi has served in those roles since HFF Inc.’s initial public offering in 2007.

A statement released by the firm’s lead director, Deborah McAneny, credited Pelusi with implementing a strategy “that has resulted in outstanding growth in share price over the past five years for our stockholders.”  Gibson and Thornton, she added, “have been an integral part of the success of the Company and the Operating Partnerships since their inception . . . Their succession to these important roles is pursuant to the detailed succession plans developed by the Board and management.” McAneny added that Pelusi would continue to work at HFF as a transaction professional.

For his part, Pelusi stated that he was committed “to remain fully engaged to accomplish a smooth and complete transition of the CEO duties, the managing member duties and the leadership roles” that he will relinquish next year.

Gibson has been associated with HFF and its predecessors for nearly three decades. He joined the firm’s predecessor, Holliday Fenoglio & Co., in 1984, and is a founding partner of HFF. He has been an executive managing director of HFF L.P. since 2003, and served as a member of HFF L.P.’s governing committees from 2003 to 2010, when he was also co-head of the company’s Dallas office. Since 2010, he has been a member of the company’s current executive committee. He oversees HFF Inc.’s investment sales, HFF Securities and investment banking businesses.

Thornton started his career with HFF L.P.’s predecessor in 1992 has served on the executive committee since 2010 and runs the company’s note sales business. Like Gibson, he served on the company’s governing committees from 2003 to 2010 and was also co-head of its Dallas office during that time.