Woodlands real estate CFO leaves after nine months

Correne Loeffler is out as the CFO of Howard Hughes Corporation after only nine months in the position. She is replaced by Carlos Olea, who is currently the Chief Accounting Officer.



Howard Hughes is based in The Woodlands and is primarily a developer of residential master planned communities, though it also develops commercial real estate. In late December, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company had agreed to sell a new 55-story office tower in Chicago for more than $1 billion. The company has a market capitalization of $5.5 billion.

Ms. Loeffler was appointed the CFO in April 2021. She replaced David O’Reilly, who was promoted to CEO in December 2020. Prior to that, she spent 13 months as CFO of Whiting Petroleum (where she was paid $3.4 million all-in), leaving in September 2020 after Whiting exited bankruptcy.  Before joining Whiting, she worked at Callon Petroleum and J.P. Morgan Securities.

Severance

The press release issued by the company stated that the employment of Ms. Loeffler was terminated but did not state what severance payments would be made. Presuming she was terminated without cause, Ms. Loeffler will be entitled to a lump sum payment of one year’s salary ($500,000), plus a pro-rated portion of the target annual bonus ($900,000). That’s a small number for 2022, but presumably she will also receive her share of the 2021 bonus.

[UPDATE 2-11-22 The company issued an updated 8-K. Ms. Loeffler will get paid through March 11, 2022. Her bonus for 2021 is $720,000. She will also get a pro-rated bonus for 2022 ($172,603) and a cash severance of $1.4 million (one times base salary plus target annual bonus) to be paid by March 2022.]

Ms. Loeffler did not receive any stock awards when she was hired. In the first quarter of 2022, she was scheduled to receive a performance-based grant that would have been worth approximately $1.2 million a year.

Olea compensation

Mr. Olea will receive a base salary of $500,000. He joined the company in 2017 and has been the Chief Accounting Officer since 2019. His target annual bonus is $750,000 and he will receive an annual long-term equity award worth up to $950,000.

SEC filing – Howard Hughes CFO replacement

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