Chief Growth Officer
Cushman & Wakefield
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Industry: Commercial Real Estate
Walter Leicher’s entrepreneurial story spans several industries and began with service in the South African military.
He found success as a software developer, the CIO of the South African equivalent of Rubbermaid, the founder of a software and consulting firm and then moved his family to the U.S. in 2001 to further develop his company.
“My dream of listing my company on Nasdaq was crushed by the events following 9/11 and I was faced with the choice whether to move back to South Africa or remain in the U.S. and re-invent my path,” said Leicher. “I chose the latter and leaned on my experience in mergers, acquisitions, turnaround execution of companies and growth acceleration in companies.”
He now uses his broad business background to serve as the Chief Growth Officer of Cushman & Wakefield. Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm that helps clients transform the way people work, shop and live. The company has 400 offices across 60 countries and is active in commercial real estate brokerage, facilities management, project development and valuation and advisory services.
Leicher was hired to build and support the inorganic growth capability of the company, but his role quickly evolved into becoming the lead in transformational and growth projects. He leads the stabilization of systems and operational platforms and is leading the digital transformation across one of the business lines operating in a part of the industry ripe for disruption.
With no background in the commercial real estate industry, Leicher has grown in four short years as an executive in the company who is recognized for his ability to transform.
“I learned early on that I needed to be self-reliant and that anything you could set your mind to is achievable,” said Leicher. “I also learned from the outset not to take no for an answer and that ‘no’ only means that the way I initially tried will not work and that I need to think about a different way to do the same thing.”
Leicher has also committed himself to be a lifelong learner, especially as a leader. “I believe every person in our lives is there for a purpose and that it is up to us to learn from that person or to disregard that value,” he said. “Every person’s unique baggage, talents, fears, accomplishments and paths are all experiences we can learn from.”
I am an ironman athlete and has also completed several ultra distance races like the Leadville 100.