DALLAS-The prestigious position of president and CEO for Trammell Crow Co. changes hands as George L. Lippe announces his retirement and the board selects CFO Robert E. Sulentic to assume the helm.

Lippe, who joined Trammell Crow in 1978, has been president and CEO since January 1996. He will remain on the board of directors and stay on the employee roster to foster an orderly transition. A company press release says Lippe has no plans to pursue other business interests.

J. McDonald Williams, board chairman, says Lippe has “guided the company through its 1997 IPO and engineered growth in the company’s revenues from approximately $250 million in 1996 to expected revenues of over $750 million in 2000.” During Lippe’s tenure, the company has built a 7,000-member staff, expanded internationally and developed an e-commerce operation.

“Throughout the process, George has greatly enhanced Trammell Crow Co.’s reputation as the premier commercial real estate provider in the United States,” asserts Williams in a prepared statement.

The 44-year-old Sulentic began his career with Trammell Crow in 1984, serving in various positions until 1998 when he was named CFO. He has been a company director since 1997 and a member of Lippe’s executive committee. “I can tell you first hand that he has the vision and passion to take this company to the next level,” says Lippe, describing Sulentic as “an impact player and successful change agent.”

The realignment also calls for COO H. Pryor Blackwell to join the company’s board of directors as a management representative, serving along with Sulentic and William F. Concannon, president and CEO of Trammell Crow Corporate Services.

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