Richardson will start at Dallas-based Howard Hughes on March 28, taking over for interim CFO Grant Herlitz, who also serves as the company's president.
NorthStar, a commercial real estate finance company based in New York, said it is searching for a new CFO with help from Richardson.
Richardson said in a statement that he had been working in commercial real estate finance for more than 10 years and that his new role will allow him to expand into real estate development.
At Howard Hughes, Richardson will report to CEO David Weinreb.
Shopping mall owner General Growth Properties Inc., which exited bankruptcy court protection in November, split into two separate companies as part of its restructuring. The new Howard Hughes Corp. owns General Growth's portfolio of planned communities and other real estate development opportunities. Pershing Square Capital Management CEO William Ackman is chairman of the spinoff.