by Stephen Garner

DJM, a San Jose-based private equity real estate firm that owns the iconic Hollywood & Highland development, has hired Charlie O’Connell as its new chief financial officer and has promoted its creative director Chad Cress to chief creative officer.

As CFO, O’Connell oversees all of DJM’s financial activities including investor relations and capital transactions. Over the course of his 30-year career, O’Connell has held leadership positions with early-stage ventures, completed several successful exits, and

co-founded two property management companies. Prior to joining DJM, he provided interim and fractional CFO services to privately held companies through Kinsale Capital Partners. In other previous CFO roles, O’Connell directed financial operations at investment firms responsible for 34,000 apartment units, 3.5 million square feet of office space, and 800 employees operating across 18 states. Earlier in his career, O’Connell served a wide range of real estate clients as a balance sheet lender and investment banker.

As for Cress, he will begin leading retail strategy for DJM’s experiential and mixed-use projects in addition to his duties he’s been executing since joining the company in 2018, which include steering the creative vision for all properties. These efforts will encompass everything from strategy development during the acquisition phase to leasing, design, and marketing. An expert storyteller and experience developer, Cress has worked with a wide variety of lifestyle brands throughout his 15-year career and has been instrumental in DJM’s repositioning of various assets including Bella Terra, Pacific City, Hollywood & Highland, and RUNWAY Playa Vista.

Lastly, DJM also announced the departure of Stenn Parton, who served as the company’s chief retail officer. Parton joined DJM in 2011 as a director of acquisitions and development, eventually progressing into a senior vice president of retail position before his most recent title. Parton will continue to consult with DJM on a few of the developer’s projects. O’Connell and Cress are part of the internal team that will assume Parton’s responsibilities.