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Zuckerman stepping down from Boston Properties board

Mortimer Zuckerman said he will not seek reelection as chairman of Boston Properties.
Mortimer Zuckerman said he will not seek reelection as chairman of Boston Properties. (Andrew Harrer/BLOOMBERG NEWS/FILE 2008)

Mortimer Zuckerman is stepping back from the board of the Boston-based real estate company that made him a billionaire.

The 78-year-old will not stand for reelection this spring as chairman of Boston Properties, the company said in a filing with securities regulators Friday. The company will name him chairman emeritus when his term expires in May.

Zuckerman founded Boston Properties in 1970, after a stint at Boston development firm Cabot, Cabot and Forbes, and grew it into one of the biggest office landlords in the country.

The firm started with suburban office parks along Route 128 and today owns major buildings in New York, San Francisco, Washington, and Boston, including the Prudential Center, the John Hancock Tower, and a big piece of Kendall Square.

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Proceeds from the company have also helped Zuckerman become a prominent figure in American journalism, buying the Atlantic Monthly — which he later sold — US News and World Report, and the New York Daily News.

He has served board chairman since taking Boston Properties public in 1997, and briefly returned as chief executive in 2013.

Zuckerman has sold much of his Boston Properties stock in recent years, but at the end of 2015 reported owning nearly 720,000 shares, worth $91.4 million. He also received a total of $3.9 million in cash, stock, and options last year.

He’s not completely walking away. As chairman emeritus, Zuckerman will still attend board meetings, according to the filing, and is entitled to perks, including free office space in one of Boston Properties’ many buildings until 2024.

Zuckerman spoke in 1976 about his company’s efforts to redevelop the Park Plaza area.
Zuckerman spoke in 1976 about his company’s efforts to redevelop the Park Plaza area.(Paul Connell/Globe Staff/File)

Tim Logan can be reached at timothy.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bytimlogan.