After University alum Stephen M. Ross made a candid remark at the University’s Business School Thursday that he would step down as CEO of The Related Companies, the real estate firm confirmed Friday that he will hand off the position to University alum Jeff Blau, the company’s president.

The Michigan Daily first reported Ross’s unscripted moment, which came in a talk to about 500 people in the Blau auditorium.

“I’ll be the first to tell you that next week we’re announcing he’s the CEO and I’m just the chairman — you’ll read about that next week I’m sure,” Ross said. “Just don’t tell the press, with social media it’s going to be all over the place.”

Ross will continue as executive chairman of the company. Bruce Beal, Jr., a former executive vice president, will assume the position of president in Blau’s place.

In a statement, Ross said Blau and Beal’s extensive experience in the real estate industry will allow them to significantly improve the company as they take the reins.

“Jeff and Bruce have been my partners for over a decade,” Ross said. “They are exceptional businessmen and great leaders with extraordinary abilities, and under our collective stewardship we have executed on a strategic growth plan that has expanded our global reach and created new business platforms that further strengthen our industry leadership position.”

Blau has been with Related for 22 years, and had served as president since 2000. Beal has been with the company since 1995.

As a part of the announcement, former vice chairman Kenneth Wong was also named chief operating officer and director of international development.

Related’s executive committee will now be composed of Ross, Blau, Beal and Wong.

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