LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Watson Land Company (Watson), one of the nation’s premier developers and owners of masterplanned industrial real estate, today publicly announced the appointment of Jeffrey Jennison as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Jennison has served as Watson’s president since 2014. The announcement completes a three year succession transition leading to the retirement in March 2017 of real estate industry veteran Bruce Choate, Watson’s CEO since 2003.
“The Board of Directors and the shareholders we represent look forward to working with Jeff as we continue forward with the commitment to quality that has made Watson Land Company a leader in development and operation of masterplanned industrial centers,” said Robert W. Huston, Watson’s Chairman. “It’s important to note that the Board has spent the past three years in collaboration with Jeff, Bruce and the entire Watson executive team on leadership succession. Together, we have established a strategic vision that honors our legacy while charting a clear path to future growth.”
Jennison assumes his new role as President and CEO with more than 17 years of experience as a senior leader at Watson. Since 2000, he has risen through the ranks after joining the Company as vice president of Asset Management and becoming Chief Operating Officer in 2013. Jennison was named President shortly thereafter, and succession planning for the orderly transition to his new role as Chief Executive Officer began in 2014 in collaboration with Choate.
Jennison’s new position as president and CEO gives him responsibility for the entirety of Watson’s portfolio and operations: from new development and investment to property management and tenant relations. Watson currently owns and operates 20 million square feet of masterplanned industrial real estate properties in key Southern California and East Coast markets. The company’s signature developments now encompass more than 1,700 acres located in Carson, Chino, Fontana and Redlands in Southern California; and Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania.
Choate, who now continues on as a member of Watson’s Board of Directors, departs from his tenure as CEO with a legacy that includes having served the company for nearly 26 years beginning with his time as CFO and overseeing the doubling of the company’s portfolio of holdings and masterplanned development sites throughout Southern California and National markets. Most recently, his work in a multi-year assemblage of 260 acres to form Watson Industrial Park Chino secured the next phase of long-term growth for the company’s Southern California portfolio. Choate was also instrumental in expanding Watson’s portfolio to the eastern U.S. with the company’s first investment outside of California in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.
For more information on Watson Land Company, its holdings and executive leadership, please visit www.watsonlandcompany.com.