Extended Stay America Inc. and its paired-share REIT, ESH Hospitality Inc. recently revealed the appointment of Bruce Haase as President and Chief Executive Officer. Haase has been elected to serve as a director of Extended Stay America Inc. and will continue to serve as a director of ESH Hospitality, Inc. He succeeds Jonathan Halkyard, who will continue to advise the Company through February 25, 2020.
Haase has served as a director of ESH Hospitality since 2018. He has more than 20 years of lodging experience with particular expertise in the extended stay hotel segment. From 2014 to 2016, he served as Chief Executive Officer of WoodSpring Hotels, LLC, the nation’s largest and fastest growing economy extended stay hotel brand. Previously, Haase served in a series of executive positions with Choice Hotels International from 2000 through 2012, most recently as Executive Vice President, Global Brands, Marketing & Operations.
The company also revealed the appointment of Kelly Poling as Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, and Randy Fox, as Executive Vice President, Property Operations, filling two previously vacant key leadership positions and further strengthening the management team with executives deeply experienced in the extended stay hotel segment. Poling has a track record of success in the extended stay hotel segment, having led all central revenue generating functions at WoodSpring Suites. With 35 years of property operations experience, Fox has unique experience in successfully managing and improving property performance of extended stay lodging assets nationwide.
Douglas Geoga, Chairman of the Company’s Boards, said, “We are pleased to welcome Bruce, Kelly and Randy to the leadership team of Extended Stay America. The Company is well positioned to capitalize on its unique business model by leveraging the team’s deep experience in all facets of extended stay hotel operations, branding, marketing, revenue generation and franchising. With Bruce’s knowledge of the Company and his experience working with two proven industry operators in Kelly and Randy, along with the rest of Extended Stay’s leadership, I am confident that this team will hit the ground running.”
Geoga continued, “Over the past several years the Extended Stay Boards, together with our outside advisors, have carefully considered a wide range of transactional strategic alternatives to drive shareholder value. Through this process, which was only recently discontinued, the Boards determined that none of the terms upon which alternatives were available would provide an acceptable outcome, or superior value compared to improved execution of the Company’s business strategy. While the Boards remain open to considering opportunities to enhance shareholder value, we are confident in the new management team’s ability to unlock the full potential of the Extended Stay America brand, assets and business capabilities. We believe that a focus on property-level improvement, franchise acceleration and asset management, together with the Company’s industry-leading margins and free cash flow generation, will lead to enhanced strategic and structural alternatives in the future to drive superior returns for all shareholders.”
Haase said, “I am excited to partner with our management team and 8,000 associates. As the only company in the lodging industry solely focused on the unique needs of the extended stay guest, we are solidly positioned to unlock the full potential of the Company within this attractive segment. Given my history and past success in working with Kelly and Randy to drive improved performance, I am confident in the future of the Company and have asked the Boards to ensure that my compensation is fully aligned with the interests of our shareholders.”
Geoga added, “On behalf of the Boards, I thank Jonathan for his many contributions as CEO and in his prior management roles with our company. We appreciate his continued support during this leadership transition.”