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CBRE Mid-Atlantic Head John Germano Leaving Firm After 17 Years

CBRE Executive Managing Director John Germano, who leads the firm's 1,500-person Mid-Atlantic region, is leaving the company after 17 years. 

CBRE Executive Vice President John Germano at Bisnow's 2017 D.C. State of the Market event

Germano oversees CBRE's D.C., Tysons, Bethesda and Baltimore offices. He sent out an email to his staff Tuesday announcing his departure and plans to leave at the end of the year. In a phone call with Bisnow, Germano said he felt it was the right time to leave because the firm is producing at a high level. 

“I feel good about stepping off this high-producing locomotive and letting another engineer get on his train and drive it to the next step,” Germano said. “I’m proud of what I’ve done, but it’s time to step down and it’s time for our business to get a new leader.”  

Germano has not set any plans for his next steps, but said he will not be joining a competing real estate firm. He hopes to first enjoy some leisure time with his family and then begin to pursue some of his interests, such as community involvement and personal investment. He said he does not plan to start an investment company, but would be interested in buying some real estate and helping out small companies.

To fill his shoes, CBRE is considering internal promotion and outside hiring. CBRE Southeast Division President John Ferguson and CEO of Americas Jack Durburg are leading the hiring process. 

“When I look at the D.C. region, our expectation would be to find someone in a similar role with regionwide responsibility,” Ferguson said. “It will be a comprehensive search. The D.C. region is one of the largest markets in the U.S., and it deserves a super leader.”

CBRE's Brooke Koch and Executive Managing Director John Germano at its 2016 Grand Slam Charity Jam

In Germano's 17 years at CBRE, the firm's Mid-Atlantic regional presence has grown four times in size. The team now manages more than 30M SF of commercial properties and completes more than 5,000 sale and lease deals annually. 

In addition to his work at CBRE, Germano serves on the executive committee for the Board of Trade, the advisory board for the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, the board of directors for the Washington Sports Alliance, the executive committee of the Federal City Council, and is involved with AOBA and the D.C. Building Industry Association.

After receiving his bachelor's degree from Bryant College in 1982, Germano served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and achieved the rank of first lieutenant. He then got his MBA from Pepperdine University in 1989 and began his commercial real estate career with JLL, then LaSalle Partners, on the West Coast. He worked with JLL until 2000 when he joined Insignia/ESG, which merged with CBRE in 2003.

“It gets to a point in your life where you say, ‘I’ve worked really hard for 36 years, I still want to do things, but I want to do different things that I find interesting or challenging,'” Germano said. “You get to that point where you say 'now is the right time for me.'”