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Vornado to cut 70 jobs, reduce salaries in bid to slash expenses

[NEW YORK] Vornado Realty Trust, a major Manhattan property owner, is cutting costs as the pandemic roils New York's economy.

The real estate investment trust plans to reduce expenses by more than US$35 million by reducing compensation and cutting 70 jobs, according to a statement Tuesday.

The moves will result in a US$23 million reduction in net income for the fourth quarter, Vornado said.

Vornado is one of the biggest landlords in New York, owning and managing nearly 20 million square feet of office space in Manhattan, along with some retail and hotels. The Reit co-owns 1290 Avenue of Americas with the Trump Organisation, and is spending billions to redevelop properties in the neighbourhood around Pennsylvania Station.

The company has seen its shares drop more than 40 per cent this year as the pandemic emptied out Manhattan and kept office workers at home. Vornado's retail properties have also taken a hit with tenants struggling to pay rent.

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Vornado also announced Tuesday that president Michael Franco, seen as a likely successor to chief executive officer Steve Roth, will take on the role of chief financial officer. He'll replace Joseph Macnow, who is stepping down.

Mr Franco, who has been at the company for about a decade, has gotten more responsibilities over the past few years. He was promoted to president last year, fueling speculation that he's in line to take over for Roth.

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