TWO LARGE HOTEL companies announced major leadership changes Tuesday.
Radisson Hotel Group announced that Ken Greene will step down from his role as president for the Americas for personal reasons. On the same day Red Lion Hotel Corp. named former Vice Chairman of Cendant Corp., later changed to Wyndham Hotels, John Russell, Jr. as interim CEO to replace Greg Mount.
Mount resigned from that job last month in what the company’s board of directors called a “necessary action” in part to stop the exit of franchisees from the system.
Radisson has begun searching for Greene’s replacement, the company said, giving few details on what led to his resignation. Greene, who previously was Greenehouse Consulting’s chief executive officer, joined what was then Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group Americas as president in June 2017.
“I want to thank Ken for his contributions to Radisson Hotel Group,” said Chairman of Radisson’s Global Steering Committee Federico González. “Growth of our brands in the Americas continues to be a key component of our five-year strategic plan and I look forward to building on the strong foundation and owner centric culture we have established.”
Along with his role at Cendant Corp., Russell was most recently president and chief operating officer at Sentry Hospitality, according to RLH Corp.’s release and filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also has held senior executive positions with ITT Sheraton, Days Inn of America, Carlson Companies, Benchmark Hospitality and more, and he is a former chairman of the American Hotel and Lodging Association and former president of the Hospitality Sales Marketing Association.
“John brings extensive hospitality experience including a proven history of expanding brands and growing franchise sales,” said Bob Wolfe, chairman of RLH Corp.’s board. “He is a seasoned leader with global experience in lodging franchise management, operations, development, and marketing for hotels and resorts.”
When Mount stepped down last month, Wolfe said the new leadership would be part of a plan to restore confidence in the company. The board will focus on providing better service to franchisees, as well as “right-sizing the cost structure of the business to reflect RLH’s current size, revenue and profitability requirements.”
Mital Talati who owns a Knights Inn in Fayetteville, North Carolina, said she planned to leave the company due to a lack of support and increasing fees. Amish Patel, CHO for AMP Hospitality Management in Palm Harbor, Florida, who last year urged his fellow Knights Inn owners to be patient with the transition, also said he was taking his hotels out of the RLH Corp. system.
“Every owner I’ve spoken with has been unhappy,” Amish said. “I’m basically taking both of my hotels away from them.”