IT WAS A SHORT romance. After just four months on the job, Rajiv Bhatia resigned as CEO of FairBridge Hotels International.
The California-based company and Bhatia, who lives in New York, amicably parted ways on May 10, said Bhatia and company founders Suminder “Sumi” Kohli and Sumeet Kals.
All three declined to detail the reason for the split. Bhatia, however, said he and the co-founders did not agree on the best strategy to grow the company’s footprint throughout North America and the rest of the world.
“Our goals were similar,” Bhatia said, “but we differed on which path to take to achieve those goals.”
The veteran hotel executive said he holds no ill will for FairBridge. “I learned a lot in giving my time to FairBridge. It was good that way. I wish them well.”
“FHI accepted Rajiv’s resignation, thanked him for his service over the past four months, and we wish him well in his future pursuits,” Kohli said.
Bhatia, 56, was named CEO of FairBridge on Jan. 9 after leaving Wyndham Hotel Group, where he was senior vice president of its Knights Inn brand for 10 years.
He said he plans to take a break before exploring some new opportunities.
Kals and Kohli founded FairBridge Hotels in 2009. Based in Pleasanton, California, it has nearly doubled in size in the past two years. Its brands are FairBridge Inn & Suites, FairBridge Inn Express, Loyalty Inn and Studio 1, an extended-stay brand. Primarily a conversion brand, FairBridge has about 40 hotels with 35 in the pipeline.