The quoted property company has made key changes in advance of John Bywater retiring from the board next March

David Atkins has been appointed to the board as executive director and managing director of UK retail with effect from January.

Jon Emery will be managing director, UK development, Atkins and Emery will report to chief executive John Richards.

Peter Cole, currently an executive director of Hammerson, will become deputy

chairman of the board of Hammerson UK, and will continue to be responsible for the group’s overall investment and development activities.

The new appointments means there will remain five directors on the main board following Bywater’s retirement next March.

John Nelson, chairman of Hammerson, said: ‘These appointments will strengthen Hammerson’s management as we enter the REIT regime. They demonstrate the group’s succession planning and the strength and depth of the team within Hammerson.’

He added: ‘I would also like to thank John Bywater for his very significant contribution to Hammerson over the past nine years.’