Officials with World Market Center announced that Harvey Dondero will step down as chief executive officer of the company. Dondero is leaving World Market Center to pursue an opportunity to run a leading brand with a global furniture manufacturer, which will make an official announcement next week.
Dondero will continue to serve as a special advisor to World Market Center under a long term arrangement, and will participate at advisory board meetings, as WMC continues to complete its total vision of building the world’s largest market and trade complex in Las Vegas, all dedicated to the home furnishings industry.
Jack Kashani and Shawn Samson, managing partners of World Market Center, comment on Dondero’s role at World Market Center: “Harvey brought a tremendous amount of insight to World Market Center as a veteran of the furniture industry. His leadership has been invaluable over the past several years as a former tenant of World Market Center, an advisory board member and most recently as our CEO. Under his direction, our operation has continued to flourish as shown with the successful opening of Building B, the rapid lease up of Building C, and the increased growth of each Las Vegas Market event. We look forward to Harvey’s new role with us as a special advisor as we fulfill the totality of our vision. At the same time, we join our partners at The Related Companies in wishing Harvey the best in his new endeavor.”
Dondero comments, “I am privileged to be a part of such a dynamic project that I know will continue to be an important force for the home furnishings industry. The developers have demonstrated a remarkable vision and have amassed an incredible team of professionals that will continue to ensure World Market Center’s success in the future. It’s also great to have the opportunity to continue to provide my advice to World Market Center as a special advisor, as this remarkable project continues to evolve. I have truly enjoyed the dynamics involved in running a market and significant real estate enterprise.”
World Market Center’s Executive Committee has engaged an international search firm to identify a successor to Dondero. In the interim, Managing Partners Kashani and Samson, along with Ron Wackrow and Michael Brenner of The Related Companies, will continue in their respective roles in directing the experienced team at World Market Center. Kashani and Samson, the co-founders and visionaries of the project, will continue to oversee and lead the leasing, marketing, operations and international departments. Wackrow and Brenner will continue their respective roles in overseeing the construction and financing of the project.
“The Related Companies, along with Jack and Shawn, remain committed to the complete build out of this extraordinary project, and fulfilling the vision of World Market Center for the benefit of the industry,” stated Wackrow. “Our highly experienced management team will continue to execute the business plan under the partners’ strategic guidance, and will direct the talented staff of World Market Center in serving the needs and wants of home furnishings buyers and exhibitors.”
World Market Center’s senior management team includes General Manager Dave Palmer, Chief Operating Officer Gerald Sawyer, and five Group Vice Presidents who oversee the finance, operations, marketing, leasing, and international divisions, respectively.
World Market Center is an integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and convention complex in Las Vegas. When fully built at 12 million square feet in eight buildings, World Market Center will encompass all facets of the home furnishings industry and will be the largest trade show complex in the world.
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