Joe Margolis, CEO at Extra Space Storage, has been recognized by Utah Business among the 2021 CEO of the Year honorees. This year, Utah Business highlighted company leaders who helped their companies and employees work through the “new normal” of the pandemic and overcome the challenges of COVID-19.
“I want to thank Utah Business magazine for the nomination of CEO of the Year,” said Margolis. “I truly believe this is not a recognition of anything I’ve done, but a recognition of the over 4,000 employees at Extra Space who, during a very difficult and stressful year, came to work every day, kept our stores open, served our customers, and produced great returns for our shareholders. So it’s on behalf of all our team members that I say thank you for the nomination.”
Like most businesses, Extra Space Storage had to adapt in 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19. “We had to quickly organize work-from-home processes, procedures, and communication protocols in our Salt Lake City corporate office and call center,” explained Margolis. “We also had to change the way we operated our almost 2,000 stores nationwide to keep our customers and employees safe.”
In June 2020, the company launched Rapid Rental, an award-winning technology solution that allowed customers to complete contact-free storage unit rentals online. Additionally, new safety protocols were implemented at each store across the country, and employee time-off programs were adjusted to provide easier access to paid and unpaid leaves.
Margolis added, “Our employees did an amazing job adapting to a new and different work environment while dealing with family and personal stress. I think the key to our successful navigation of the crisis has been frequent and open communication and rapid decision-making.”
Before leading Extra Space Storage, the largest publicly traded company in Utah, Margolis faced other adversities in his career. “In 2005, with two partners, I started my own real estate investment advisory firm. We captured $350 million of institutional capital and had just finished investing it when the Great Recession hit. The lessons of managing through this difficult time were painful but are invaluable to me now.”
“I’m very proud that Extra Space Storage can have so much success. We were the number one REIT in terms of returns over the last ten years, ending December 31, 2020, and number 11 in the S&P 500. We were able to provide those great returns to our shareholders while being a great place to work, valuing every employee, and being a good member of the community.”