Downtown Los Angeles commercial real estate firm CBRE Group announced Monday that Ray Wirta has been chosen to succeed Richard Blum as chairman.

The appointment of Wirta, formerly the company’s vice chairman, has been approved by the board.

Blum had been chairman since 2001 and will remain a member of the board and a major CBRE shareholder.

“Ray is one of the most accomplished executives in our industry and, like Dick, is a strong strategic thinker,” Bob Sulentic, chief executive, said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to work with both of them and the rest of the board as we execute our growth strategy and further strengthen CBRE’s premier market position.