NEW YORK CITY—Cushman & Wakefield Tuesday announced John Elkann as chairman of its board of directors, effective immediately. Elkann is chairman and CEO of EXOR, S.p.A., Cushman & Wakefield’s controlling shareholder, and chairman of Fiat, S.p.A., where he has been serving as a board member since December 1997.

Carlo Barel di Sant’Albano will be stepping down as Chairman to take on a greater operational role in the newly created position of international CEO. In addition to EMEA, his new responsibilities will include all business and client activities in Asia Pacific and South America.

Says Edward Forst, Cushman’s president & CEO “We are all delighted to welcome John Elkann to the role of Chairman of Cushman & Wakefield. He brings with him significant international perspective and a record of dynamic leadership. He has also been a strong supporter of C&W since EXOR became our majority shareholder in 2007 and his appointment as Chairman will help accelerate the execution of our strategy as we drive toward the firm’s centennial in 2017.”

Adds John Elkann, “Cushman & Wakefield is one of EXOR’s largest investments and we are strongly committed to supporting its development, helping it to achieve its full potential as a premier global real estate firm. I look forward to working closely with Ed, his leadership team and the 16,000 professionals of C&W all around the world.”

Elkann is a member of the International Advisory Council of the Brookings Institution and a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art. He also serves as vice chairman of the Italian Aspen Institute.

Sant’ Albano became interim CEO of Cushman last summer after Glenn Rufrano stepped down.