The official release has yet to come out, but last week John Laing Homes CEO Larry Webb notified employees and trade partners that he was leaving the company. The move was a surprise to many stakeholders; Webb had contracted to stay on as CEO for five years when United Arab Emirates-based Emaar Properties purchased John Laing Homes for $1.05 billion in 2006. Robert Booth, managing director for Emaar Canada, will succeed Webb as chief executive.
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.
The passing of the torch from Webb to Booth will take place over the next four weeks.
With a background in large-scale, master planned development, Booth 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 heavily 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 in the executive land committee, playing a role in identifying expansion opportunities beyond the company’s footprint in California and Colorado