Roger Madelin will join the company in February 2016 and gets a seat on British Land's executive committee.
He has been at rival developer Argent since 1987 and was chief executive from 1997 to 2012. He led on Argent’s 67-acre King's Cross development. Since the end of 2012, when Argent restructured as a limited liability partnership, he has been one of nine partners but with a reduced part-time role.
British Land has spent five years assembling the Canada Water site. It includes Surrey Quays Shopping Centre and Harmsworth Quays, the former Daily Mail General Trust printing works. Last piece in the jigsaw was its acquisition of Surrey Quays Leisure Park in March this year. The combined sites have potential for around 5.5 million sq ft of office, retail, residential, leisure, educational and community space.
British Land is currently working with the London Borough of Southwark and local communities to deliver the Canada Water Masterplan and expects to submit a planning application by the end of next year.
British Land chief executive Chris Grigg said: "Development is a core part of our business: we are very focused on areas of London which will benefit from growth and regeneration. Canada Water provides an exceptional and exciting opportunity to create a mixed-use scheme with office, retail, residential, leisure and community space. Roger Madelin is a highly experienced developer and brings enormous experience of delivering major mixed-use developments. Placemaking lies at the heart of what we do and I look forward to working with Roger to create a vibrant new destination for London that caters for a wide range of modern needs."
Roger Madelin said: "The combination of the physical opportunity at Canada Water, working with British Land and with the thoughtful and ambitious London Borough of Southwark was an opportunity too exciting to turn down. I have had an amazing 29 years at Argent and thank all my colleagues for the trust and support they have given me. The completion of the last phases of King's Cross are in talented and safe hands. For new projects Argent and its new partner Related has an exciting future and I wish them all well."