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Maguire replaced at firm he founded

May 19, 2008|Roger Vincent | Times Staff Writer

One of Los Angeles' best known corporate and civic leaders, Robert F. Maguire III, is no longer in control of the real estate company he founded.

The board of directors of Maguire Properties Inc. voted unanimously to replace Maguire as chairman, chief executive officer and president, the company said Sunday.

Maguire, 73, will hold the title of chairman emeritus but no longer be involved in daily operations.

The new president and chief executive is Nelson Rising, 66, a onetime senior partner at Maguire Properties. The new chairman is longtime board member Walter L. "Wally" Weisman, 72.

Maguire, who has a reputation as a feisty and autocratic leader, had been fighting for months to retain control of the company. He took it public four years ago and had an often-rocky relationship with Wall Street. Escalating losses and falling stock prices prompted calls from dissident shareholders for his ouster.

In December, the board said it would consider a sale of the company. Maguire was among the contenders to buy it, but none of the bids was accepted by a committee of board members.

Rising said a sale was no longer being considered. The company will also not make a planned stock dividend payment, he said. Instead, he and other officials will "evaluate the company's opportunities and challenges and figure out what course to take."

As a senior partner with Maguire Properties, Rising was instrumental in getting the massive Playa Vista development approved and oversaw development of the U.S. Bank Tower. He left Maguire in 1994 to head Catellus Development Corp. in San Francisco.

He most recently was heading a small private real estate investment company in Los Angeles and will bring two of its executives to Maguire, including his son.

Maguire Properties is the biggest office landlord in downtown Los Angeles.

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roger.vincent@latimes.com

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