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ATLANTA-Tad Leithead, senior vice president of development with locally based Cousins Properties Inc., is leaving the commercial REIT on Sept. 1. He has been with the company for the past seven years.

Leithead says he is leaving Cousins to launch his own community and government relations consulting firm. He plans to continue representing cousins through his new business.

“I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in politics and community relations,” Leithead told the Atlanta Business Chronicle. “I’m proud to have worked for Cousins and am excited and honored that the relationship will continue.

Larry Gellerstedt, Cousins president and CEO, called Leithead “a valuable part” of the company as well as the Atlanta community. “We wish him the best with his new venture and are pleased that he’ll continue to represent the company,” Gellerstedt said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Cousins reported an FFO loss of $64.9 million for the second quarter. The loss was attributed to $88 million worth of non-cash impairment, valuation and retirement charges.

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