Retail Heavy Hitter David Zoba Joins JLL as Global Retail Leasing Board Chairman

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DavidZoba02 baybridgeJLL’s retail leadership has been vocal about the company’s intent to serve as a global industry leader in retail real estate services. In the last 18 months, the firm has made strategic investments in top talent to expand its retailer representation business worldwide, and today marks another milestone. Industry heavyweight David Zoba joins JLL as Chairman of its Global Retail Leasing Board, formed in 2012 to strengthen the firm’s international retail service delivery. Zoba brings 30 years of experience to the firm, and spent the past six years as the Senior Vice President, Global Real Estate and Store Development at Gap Inc.

In his new role, Zoba will unite the firm’s Asia Pacific, Europe and Americas retail experts, counsel growing brands entering foreign markets and connect them with retail’s top landlords in North America, Europe and Asia. Zoba’s depth of knowledge on how real estate helps retailers grow and operate internationally will be instrumental in educating JLL’s client base on the nuances and hurdles of site selection, the construction process, lease terms, and the variances in legal regulations around the world.

Anuj Puri, Head of Global Retail Leasing and Chairman and Country Head of JLL India, notes that international expansion is playing a bigger role in the success of today’s retailers that are facing intensified competition to remain innovative, relevant and profitable. “Retail is a local business, heavily influenced by macro forces. We’re breaking down barriers that once halted retailers from expanding into markets outside of their home countries with JLL’s Global Retail Leasing Board. Adding David to our already deep bench of talent gives JLL the boost it needs to advise and support retailers’ and investors’ global endeavours,” said Puri.

“David will advise retailers taking the leap abroad, something he knows intimately having worked for many prominent retailers and investors on brand expansions,” said Naveen Jaggi, President of Retail Brokerage, JLL Americas. “Appointing a leading expert from the retail industry is a first in the brokerage services community. David knows exactly how to successfully immerse a brand into a new market, having formerly been an end-user. He brings a new perspective to JLL, which will shape how we serve our clients and tailor our approach to their evolving needs.”

Zoba has steered the real estate strategy for Gap Inc. since 2009, where he optimized the retailer’s global fleet of stores for all brands including Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, InterMix and Outlet Brands. Prior to his role with Gap, he served as the Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President of Galyan’s Trading Company, Inc., where he primarily oversaw all real estate, construction and legal functions during the retailer’s rapid growth to 52 stores. Zoba also spent time as the Senior Vice President and Counsel of Real Estate at L Brands, where he led real estate law, then expanded his responsibilities to include store optimization. Prior to his work with retailers, Zoba was Partner at Hughes & Luce LLP and a Corporate Associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

Zoba holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University, a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University Law School, and attended the London School of Economics for graduate studies. He serves on the Board of Trustees, and on the Executive Board, of the International Council of Shopping Centers and on the Board of Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco.

“I’m looking forward to joining a leading global company that is focused on creating differentiation in retail and bringing a retailer’s perspective to JLL’s strategic initiatives,” said Zoba. “JLL has the talent and infrastructure to surpass any consultancies in the industry, and that’s what I’ll be focused on achieving globally.”

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