The influence of Peel Group chairman John Whittaker at the top of Capital Shopping Centres has increased with the appointment of Trafford Centre boss Mike Butterworth as chief operating officer.
Butterworth is one of Whittaker's most trusted and loyal lieutenants, having been at his corporate side since 1981, when he joined Manchester Ship Canal Company, acquired partly for the land on which the Trafford Centre would later be built.
He has run the Trafford Centre since it opened in 1998 and earlier this year was appointed chairman of CSC Trafford, following the acquisition of the Trafford Centre by CSC.
Butterworth effectively replaces Kay Chaldecott, executive director of property at CSC, who has been with the firm for 27 years and has notified the board of her intention to stand down as a director with effect from 30 September.
Butterworth takes the new position of chief operating officer reporting to David Fischel, chief executive, with effect from 3 October. Fischel is another long-standing CSC director, having joined in 1984.
Butterworth's CSC Trafford division now incorporates four of the group's centres, the Trafford Centre and the Manchester Arndale, Braehead in Glasgow and Cribbs Causeway, Bristol.
David Fischel, chief Executive of CSC, said: "We understand Kay's decision to stand down, prompted by a desire for a change in lifestyle after 27 years with the group. Kay has been a loyal and dedicated member of the executive team and played an instrumental part in the development and success of the group's shopping centre business. We are delighted that Kay has agreed to provide consultancy services to the group."
Chaldecott said: "I have enjoyed a tremendously rewarding career at CSC for over 27 years and I wish my fellow directors and colleagues every good fortune for the future in the knowledge that CSC has built a portfolio of exceptional assets and is poised for further growth and development over the coming years. I am pleased to continue my association with the group as a consultant and pursue other business opportunities."
CSC owns 14 regional shopping centres in the UK, valued collectively at £6.7bn. Whittaker is now the largest single shareholder in CSC with 20.5% and is deputy chairman.
Shares in CSC rose 3.4p to 299p on Monday morning, giving it a market capitalisation of £2.5bn