For the first time in its 80-year history, a Ryan won’t be leading the Minneapolis development firm Ryan Cos.
Pat Ryan, grandson of founder James Henry Ryan, will step down as chief executive next month and be succeeded by Brian Murray, who has been a co-owner and chief operating officer since 2009.
Ryan has led the company since 2008, a time when it spearheaded redevelopment of the east side of downtown Minneapolis, built CHS Field in St. Paul and the Target Corp. northern campus in Brooklyn Park.
He will become chairman of the board of directors for the firm, succeeding Tim Gray, a longtime executive and co-owner who will take the title of chairman emeritus.
In a statement, Ryan said, “I warned my colleagues that they can expect to see my face around the office for a long time to come, but I’m also planning to spend more time with my family.”
Murray, who joined the company in 2009, has helped lead Ryan’s day-to-day operations for the last five years.
“It’s a tremendous honor to take on an expanded leadership role at Ryan and to follow in the footsteps of a great leader like Pat,” Murray said in a statement. “This is an important time for our company as we look ahead to future opportunities. In a world where the pace of change is accelerating, we need to innovate and change while maintaining our strong culture.”
In a recent interview with the Star Tribune, Ryan, 64, talked about possible retirement.
“When you are an owner of a company and an operator of a company, you don’t have to quit,” he said. “You just have to be smart enough to let go at the right time.”
Tuesday’s announcement of the leadership changes is part of a company succession plan formulated over several years. Another co-owner, Jeff Smith, will become president and another, Mike McElroy, will be the new chief investment officer.
“We [have] a great team,” Ryan said in March. “The fact of the matter is I can be hit by a bus tomorrow and the company wouldn’t miss a beat. … I don’t believe in legacies. There’s a company legacy. Nobody should have a personal legacy. Politicians can do that.”
Ryan will remain involved in the company and focus on helping in capital markets and real estate development as well as spending more time with key customers.
Founded in 1938, Ryan Cos. has expanded its reach to national development projects as well as local ones. Ryan Cos. was responsible for much of the immediate development around the new U.S. Bank Stadium that now makes up a large swath of the East Town district including the Wells Fargo towers, Radisson Red hotel and the Edition apartments.
In March, the company unveiled plans for a condo tower called Eleven on the River that would be built in the Mill District of Minneapolis.
Ryan Cos. generates most of its revenue from work on national build-to-suit offices, industrial distribution buildings, senior housing complexes, health care facilities and retail developments.