Spirit’s President & COO Exit Hits NNN Lease Sector

As Spirit Realty's president & COO bids farewell, analysts ponder the ramifications for the industry.
Peter Mavoides

Peter Mavoides

Peter Mavoides, president & COO of Spirit Realty Capital Inc., has left his position, the REIT announced Thursday. His departure was “by mutual agreement,” according to a brief statement from Spirit, which is based in Scottsdale, and focuses on “single-tenant, operationally essential real estate.”

While Spirit conducts a search to fill Mavoides’ role, Thomas Nolan, the REIT’s chairman & CEO, will assume those responsibilities on an interim basis.

“On behalf of our Board and management team, I want to thank Pete for his contributions to Spirit’s success over the past four years,” Nolan said in a release. “Going forward, Spirit is equipped with a deep and seasoned management team with decades of experience in the triple-net-lease industry.”

Also on Thursday, Spirit reported its fourth-quarter and 2014 operating results. Net income attributable to common stockholders in the fourth quarter was $0.08 per diluted share, compared to $0.12 per diluted share for the quarter that ended 12 months previously. For 2014, Spirit had a net loss of $0.09 per share, compared to break-even earnings per share on net income of $1.7 million for 2013.

Spirit estimates its enterprise value as $9.1 billion, based on a portfolio of 2,509 properties in 49 states. The REIT was founded in 2003 and completed an IPO in September 2012.

According to Spirit’s website, Mavoides joined the company in September 2011 after serving for more than seven years as president & CEO of Sovereign Investment Co., a private equity firm. He had previously worked at Eastdil Realty and at Citigroup, where he focused on the structuring of sale-leaseback transactions. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, at West Point, N.Y., and earned an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Nolan joined Spirit the same month as Mavoides after having been president/COO and a director at General Growth Properties Inc., where he was part of the senior management team that led the company’s reorganization following bankruptcy.

“Pete is a seasoned C-level exec in the net-lease industry,” Jonathan Hipp, president & CEO of Calkain Cos., told Commercial Property Executive. “If he chooses to stay in the industry, he should have plenty of opportunities.”

Brad Thomas, editor of Forbes Real Estate Investor and a long-time REIT watcher, noted that Mavoides’ departure from Spirit adds to the recent turmoil in the C-suites of several major NNN lease REITs.

In November, Jack Cuneo, president/CEO of Chambers Street Properties since its founding in 2004, announced his retirement, pending the appointment of a successor.

The departure of Nick Schorsch from ARCP has, of course, been covered plentifully here at CPE and elsewhere.

And last Tuesday, EPR Properties, of Kansas City, announced that president/CEO David Brain will be retiring effective March 31 and that Gregory K. Silvers, the REIT’s COO and executive vice president, has been named the new CEO.