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Five Point Holdings taps former Irvine Company exec as its new CEO

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Five Point Holdings has a new chief executive, a former homebuilding president at Irvine Company, who takes the helm four months after Emile Haddad stepped down from the leadership post.

Daniel Hedigan, who spent 10 years as an executive with Irvine Co., assumed the role immediately, according to a Five Point statement released Wednesday, Feb. 9.

“He will bring an excellent balance of management skills and experience, with a focus on right-sizing our cost structures to fit the size and scale of our business,” said Stuart Miller, executive chairman of Lennar, Five Point’s largest stakeholder.

The announcement caps a series of leadership changes at the Irvine-based developer. Last August, Five Point demoted its founder Haddad to senior adviser and promoted its chief operating officer, Lynn Jochim, to president. The announcement Wednesday said Jochim would step down from her dual roles but remain an adviser for three years.

In late January, Chief Financial Officer Erik Higgins resigned but indicated he would remain with Five Point to fulfill regulatory filings, which are due this spring. The company appointed Leo Kij, its corporate controller, to CFO on an interim basis.

Five Point on Thursday declined to comment on the leadership changes beyond its prepared statement.

More work ahead in Irvine

Irvine Councilman Anthony Kuo said he’s “hopeful” about the prospects for the city’s continuing relationship with Five Point under its new CEO.

Kuo said he has appreciated the company’s creativity in developing the Great Park Neighborhoods, which is reflected in unique parks with central features like a treehouse and a community greenhouse. Five Point is the master developer and owns 37% of the project.

“You walk into a space that residents in the community can enjoy that you won’t really find anywhere else. It’s not your cookie-cutter tot lots,” he said.

Kuo, who grew up in the city, thinks the Irvine Co. connection will be good for collaboration.

Five Point’s new CEO, he said, “comes from an organization that understands the importance of developing relationships that have lasting longevity in the community.

“I think in this next chapter of Five Point Communities we’ll get a little bit of the best of both worlds.”

At Irvine Co., Hedigan held various executive roles in development, design, project management, construction, sales and marketing.

“I look forward to working with Stuart and the rest of the management team to build upon our business practices and efficiencies so that we can drive bottom-line performance,” he said in the company statement.

Five Point Chief Executive Emile Haddad stepped down from the company he founded, effective Sept. 30. He will remain as a member of the board of directors and chairman emeritus. Stuart Miller has been named executive chairman while Lynn Jochim is the homebuilder’s new president. (File photo: Orange County Register)

A late-summer management shakeup

Last September, Jochim and Miller were put in charge, shifting Haddad to the role of senior adviser.

At the time, Haddad conceded the news was a bit of a surprise but emphasized he was not being replaced as chief executive officer. With Miller at the helm, Jochim handling day-to-day operations and himself as an adviser, “there’s no need for a CEO,” Haddad said in an Aug. 23 interview.

“It’s just a repositioning for us to move forward and create the right value for the company,” he said. “… At some point in time, you need to start realizing that there are other things you can focus on.”

Amid a frenzied, pandemic-fueled homebuying season, the direction for Five Point apparently has changed.

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Hedigan, a UC Irvine grad who and earned his master’s degree in economics and a law degree from UCLA, takes over as the company proceeds with projects launched by Haddad in Valencia, San Francisco and Irvine.

In addition to right-sizing cost structures, Miller said Hedigan would focus on monetizing the company’s land holdings and “driving shareholder value.”

The company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in May 2017. Its shares at the time traded around $15. On Thursday, Five Point shares closed at $6.28.

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