Westfield on Thursday said it has named David Ruddick and Colin Shaughnessy as joint leads of the company’s leasing operation in the United States. The appointments are part of a focused strategy to elevate relationships with the shopping center developer and operator and its retail partners. The move applies to all of the company’s 30-plus U.S. properties, including iconic and leading fashion, dining and entertainment destinations.

David Ruddick will continue to direct Westfield’s development leasing organization focused on leasing efforts for the large development projects such as Westfield World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, Century City in Los Angeles, UTC in San Diego and Valley Fair in Santa Clara, Calif. Colin Shaughnessy will now lead the operating leasing activities throughout the portfolio. Both now report directly to William Hecht, chief operating officer of Westfield U.S.

Westfield has made strengthening ties with retailers a key priority. At February’s National Retail Federation’s Big Show, Westfield’s co-chief executive director Steven Lowy implored retailers to share their consumer data with the shopping center developer so that it could improve customers’ experiences.

Westfield U.S. created a shopping feature on its web site that lists products sold to its retail partners. Consumers who want to purchase an item are sent to the retailer’s checkout on its e-commerce site. Westfield said its goal is to work with retailers to give consumers live inventory information, so a shopper could find out whether a dress in her size is available at the mall.

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