Larry Charlip manages Global Real Estate and Facilities for Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (T2). He is responsible for overseeing a real estate portfolio that includes 35+ offices in 10+ countries and a total of approximately 1,000,000 square feet. Larry’s responsibilities include real estate management, construction design, project management, procurement and facilities management. Larry works with T2’s facilities teams globally to streamline processes across the organization.
“Since joining Take-Two nearly six years ago and taking over Facilities and Real Estate, Larry has successfully elevated both areas into truly global functions, which at times requires taking into account widely divergent needs on the same project and keeping many balls in the air at once. Larry’s role has required him to become an expert marksman when shooting at moving targets.” - Chris Casazza, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
What is one thing that no one knows about you?
“A few years ago, I traveled to Africa. While I’m generally a person who can’t stop looking at my phone, I found the way of life there to be calming and relaxing. People go about their business no matter what is happening around them. No cell signal, no problem. Electric goes out for an hour, no problem. I need more of that in my life.”
How did you get into the Facilities/Real Estate field?
“I started out as a mail clerk for a commodities trading company in the early 90’s. That company went bankrupt shortly after I started and began several years of layoffs. Through it I gained valuable experience in construction and leasing through downsizing and left there after two years as an Assistant Facilities Manager. From there I kind of stumbled my way up the ladder on the fly with stops at Lockheed Martin, Schroder, Wenner Media (Rolling Stone) and a few other spots along the way. Each company gave me an opportunity to learn more and grow as a professional.”
Tell us about a favorite project highlight.
“A year ago, I completed a 64,000 square foot relocation for T2’s corporate headquarters. For this project, I got to run every aspect of the project cycle which included site selection, leasing, workplace strategy, design, build and relocation. This certainly was the highlight project of my career. I was able to work with incredible groups, including our internal workplace strategy team, consultants, contractors and of course our employees who embraced the space we built to make it their own. There was a great degree of change management involved and our employees were hesitant at the first, but their hearts were in it in the end. The space has been incredibly received by our visiting employees, executives, board members and guests.”
What is your greatest success story?
“Besides my family? The teams I have been able to work with over the past 20 years would have to be my greatest career success. I have worked with some tremendously talented and dedicated people along the way. I have also gotten to mentor and help young professionals grow in their career. Many of us remain friends still today. That being said, I could not have done any of it without the support of my fiancé, son and the rest of my family who have been by my side through all the crazy projects.”
Tell us about a challenge or obstacle that you face in the Real Estate/Facilities world.
“Global Real Estate and Facilities has changed drastically over the past 5-10 years. Where everything was previously locally managed, technology and the expansion of the global marketplace has changed the landscape. Working for a company that is relatively decentralized and wants local culture and customs to play a part in their offices, it is sometimes a struggle to do while also meeting global objectives. Collaboration and communication are a challenge but are key to the success of each project as well as day to day operations.”
What learning experience would you pass onto future FM’s?
“When asked ‘why do we do (fill in task) a certain way?’ the worst answer you can ever give is ‘because that is how we have always done it.’ At the end of the day, Facilities and Real Estate is a service organization within a company and what employees want and need to be productive is constantly evolving. We need to change with it, and if possible, stay ahead of the change curve. In a world where much of our time is taken up by reacting to a situation that arises, we need to think ahead and be proactive as much as possible.”
Interviewed by Sonya Verny of IA Interior Architects, IFMA NYC Secretary