Rob Tincknell, the chief executive of the company leading the £9 billion development of Battersea Power Station, has resigned after 10 years on the project.
Tincknell, 51, said it had been a difficult decision to leave the “extraordinary project” and hand over control of the company to Simon Murphy, its chief financial officer.
Tincknell has been the public face of the Battersea Power Station Development Company since 2008, as it restores the famous 1930s grade II listed building. The project is being bankrolled by three Malaysian companies.
Tincknell said he felt it was the right moment to move on, at a time when the first 865 homes at Battersea had been built and sold and Apple had signed a deal to take 500,000 sq ft of the central boiler house.
“I came to the conclusion that after a decade of leading the project it’s in good shape, there’s been great progress, particularly over the past year, and we have built up an amazing team, so it’s the right time for me to do other things,” Tincknell said.
A spokeswoman for the company told the Times he had not been pushed out by the project’s Malaysian owners, pointing to the fact that he would remain a member of the Battersea Project advisory board.
However, his departure comes amid rising construction and labour costs at the site, and at a time when the luxury property market has slumped.
The cost of dealing with the asbestos risk in the building has spiralled, while pulling down and replacing the famous four chimneys proved more expensive than thought.
Tincknell is admired for having stuck with the project for so long.
In January, a Malaysian fund gave a cash injection for the development by buying a direct stake in the building to help to fund rising costs. At £1.6 billion, it was the UK’s biggest-ever property deal.
The scheme is turning the 42-acre site into 4,000 homes, as well as offices, shops and restaurants, after it lay dormant for 33 years.
The Malaysian group of investors is also funding a new Northern line Tube station and extension.
The developers revealed in April last year that the project now expected to deliver less than half of its original targeted return.
They said it was due to generate an internal rate of return, a widely used measure of profitability in the sector, of 8.2% based on present projections, rather than the 20% target, before borrowings, agreed at the start of the project.
The development is so important in Malaysia that the prime minister is said to have regular meetings discussing it.
Bought by a Malaysian consortium for £400 million in 2012, the site is now valued at £1.6 billion.
In 2016, Apple revealed it would move its UK headquarters into the former central boiler house of Battersea Power Station.
The power station was originally constructed in 1930 and was closed 53 years later. In 1989, plans to convert the site into a theme park were scrapped despite the roof being removed as part of construction.
After years of delays and financial problems, building finally got under way in 2013.
DealMakerz hopes the resignation of Tincknell doesn’t cause any further problems or delays in Battersea’s long-awaited redevelopment.