Builder Online confirmed late Thursday that Richard Rodriguez, senior vice president of operations and process at John Laing Homes, was named CEO of Emaar Dubai, the Dubai operation of Emaar Properties.

The move is a meteoric rise for Rodriguez, who prior to his stint at Laing, spent four years at Centex as vice president of organizational development and process. He has also worked for Arvida Homes in Florida and Zaring Homes in Cincinnati. Rodriguez was a Navy SEAL and served in Operation Desert Storm in 1990.

"We're very happy for Rich," says Larry Webb, John Laing's CEO.

"He's going to do a great job in Dubai," adds Webb, pointing out that as part of his duties, Rodriguez will now be in charge of completing the 170-story Burj Dubai, billed as the world's tallest building.

Emaar Properties bought WL Homes last year, which does business as John Laing Homes. Roughly 32 percent of Emaar Properties is owned by the government of Dubai, the second largest of the eight states in the United Arab Emirates.

No details of the appointment have been released, but the Rodriguez news comes at a trying time for Emaar Properties.

According to Reuters, shares in Emaar Properties sank to a 28-month low earlier this week, as foreign investors sold the stock fearing mortgage defaults would hurt Emaar's operations in the U.S. John Laing made up 16 percent of Emaar's revenues in the second quarter.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Orlando, FL.