HCP Executive Chairman Mike McKee to Retire

by Jeff Shaw

IRVINE, Calif. — Michael McKee, executive chairman of Irvine-based healthcare REIT HCP Inc. (NYSE: HCP), has announced that he plans to retire on March 1.

Following his official retirement, McKee will continue to serve on the board of directors as a consultant until HCP’s annual meeting on April 26. Dave Henry, previously the lead independent director, has been appointed to serve as non-executive chairman.

McKee has served as HCP’s executive chairman since May 2016 and as a member of the board since 1989. From July to December 2016, he served as interim president and CEO, filling the gap between Lauralee Martin’s departure and Tom Herzog’s promotion.

McKee has been one of the few constants for a REIT that underwent massive changes in recent years. In his 20 months as executive chairman, the company spun off its 320-property HCR ManorCare skilled nursing portfolio into a separate REIT known as Quality Care Properties Inc. (NYSE: QCP).

Additionally, the executive team saw nearly constant change during this time. Herzog was rehired to his previous position of CFO and eventually promoted to CEO following Martin’s tenure. The company was also able to woo longtime industry veterans Justin Hutchens and Kai Hsiao, before losing them both to other companies.

“I think that the recovery of this company, the turnaround of this company, the repositioning of this company is well known and well documented, and these things have to shake themselves out over time,” McKee said at the time of Hsiao’s departure. “We are building a new team. You don’t build a world champion just in six months or in three decisions or four decisions. You do it a step at a time.”

Last March, HCP completed the sale of a portfolio of 64 assets leased to Brookdale Senior Living on a triple-net basis to affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII for $1.1 billion. That reduced the concentration of Brookdale-operated properties in HCP’s portfolio from approximately 35 percent to 27 percent, according to the company.

The company’s stock price closed at $23.86 per share on Friday, Feb. 2, down from $31.22 one year ago and a five-year peak of $49.53 on May 13, 2013. The company is the fourth-largest owner of seniors housing properties in the United States, with a portfolio of 362 properties and 46,031 units, according the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA).

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