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SANTA ANA, CA-Grubb & Ellis Co. has named C. Michael Kojaian as the company’s new chairman, effective immediately. He succeeds Glenn L. Carpenter, who remains on the board as an independent director.

Like Carpenter, who had held the position for nearly a year, Kojaian is nonexecutive chairman of the board, meaning a board chairman who is not a part of the company’s executive management team. Kojaian has been a member of the Grubb & Ellis board of directors since 1996. He served as chairman from June 2002 through the completion of the company’s merger with NNN Realty Advisors LLC in December 2007. He is president of Kojaian Ventures LLC and executive vice president of Kojaian Management Corp., both investment firms, and is also a director of Arbor Realty Trust Inc.

Carpenter joined the NNN Realty Advisors board in 2006, and became amember of the Grubb & Ellis board of directors following the completion of the merger. He was named chairman in February 2008 after NNN founder Tony Thompson resigned his posts as chairman of the board and a director of Grubb & Ellis.

Gary H. Hunt, interim chief executive officer of Grubb & Ellis, notes that Kojaian is the largest stockholder in Grubb & Ellis. As such, “His interests are clearly aligned with our long-term success,” Hunt comments.

Hunt has served as interim chief executive officer of Grubb & Ellis since former president and CEO Scott D. Peters resigned last summer. The naming of a new CEO was one of the issues that Thompson raised last year when he waged a proxy fight attempting to unseat three members of the Grubb board and elect his own slate. Thompson, the company’s second-largest shareholder, complained that the search for a new CEO was moving too slowly.

Grubb & Ellis on Wednesday declined to comment on when the company might name a new CEO. “An active search is under way. We cannot comment on timing,” a company spokeswoman told GlobeSt.com.

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