Larry Webb, CEO of John Laing Homes, is unexpectedly stepping down from the position.
Webb confirmed via a phone message left late yesterday (April 29) that he would be leaving the CEO position sometime during the next four weeks. Robert Booth, managing director for Emaar Canada, which, like Laing, is owned by United Arab Emirates-based Emaar Properties, will succeed Webb as chief executive.
The official release has yet to come out, but last week Webb began notifying employees and trade partners that he was leaving the company. The move was a surprise to many stakeholders; Webb contracted to stay on as CEO for five years when Emaar Properties purchased John Laing Homes for $1.05 billion in 2006.
Webb, a 20-plus-year industry veteran, got his start at John Laing as a division president in 1995. His fiery and magnetic personality quickly moved him into greater leadership roles in both the company and industry. Webb plans to use his newly found free time to relax and enjoy more time with his family, he said.
Booth, whose background includes large-scale, master planned development, has been a key player in Emaar's international expansion since joining the company in 2001. Booth spent five years in Dubai before moving to Canada, where he supervised Emaar's projects in North America.
Based in Vancouver, he was deeply involved in the integration of John Laing Homes into the Emaar corporate fabric. Post acquisition, Booth helped oversee the company's land strategy as a participant on the executive land committee, playing a role in identifying expansion opportunities beyond the company's footprint in California and Colorado.