Nakheel CEO Quits

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Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Worlds real-estate developer Nakheel, Mr. Chris O Donnell leaves his post after ending a 5-year contract. He will be temporarily replaced by the chief financial officer Sanjay Manchanda as acting CEO, the developer said.

The developer, which is the creator of several land reclamation projects, including the Palm Islands, the Dubai Waterfront, The World, and The Universe Islands, said O’Donnell decided to leave following the five years he spent in the company according to his contract.The former CEO was not immediately available for comment.

The Board of Directors of Nakheel wishes Mr. ODonnell all the best in his new endeavours,” said a Nakheel statement.

O’Donnell played a key role in handling Nakheel’s debt troubles, which forced its parent company Dubai World to announce a shock debt delay in 2009. The company said in March it expects its debt restructuring process to be completed by the first half of 2011.

Nakheel is finally close to restructuring its debt and things are perhaps returning back to normal, said Mohammed Yasin, Chief Investment Officer at CAPM Investments. The announcement of his exit is a good sign in the sense that Nakheel is trying to be more transparent now, he added. However, it’s not fair to say at this point that his tenure not being renewed is any judgement on his performance.

ODonnell has over 30 years experience in the property industry. Before joining Nakheel in June 2006, he spent five years as Managing Director of the Investa Property Group in Australia.

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