The board of Sunstone Hotel Investors has appointed John Arabia, the company's president, to the additional role of CEO effective immediately. Arabia succeeds Ken Cruse, who reportedly has left the company to pursue other opportunities. He has resigned from his position on the board, as well.
"John is a skilled and seasoned executive who has been instrumental in Sunstone's recent portfolio transformation and de-leveraging initiatives, which strengthened our balance sheet and significantly improved our portfolio quality and growth prospects," said Keith Locker, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board. "We are pleased with the strategic direction of the Company and are confident in the ability of our executive team to execute effectively and seamlessly on our plans to drive value for shareholders."
"I look forward to continuing to work with the Board of Directors and Sunstone's deep and highly experienced executive team to create value for our shareholders," said Arabia. "Our portfolio is well positioned to take advantage of what appears will be a long cyclical upturn. Our hotel repositionings in both Boston and Maui are moving forward as planned and are expected to add value through meaningful increases in revenues and profits. Furthermore, our low-levered balance sheet enhances our financial stability and flexibility to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities. I am fully committed to Sunstone and our shareholders."
Pursuant to the terms of his existing employment agreement, Cruse is entitled to contractual payments as a result of his separation from the company. The company has not entered into any new compensatory arrangements with Cruse in connection with his separation.
Arabia joined REIT Sunstone in April 2011 as EVP of corporate strategy and CFO. In February 2013, he was promoted to president and since February 2014 has served on Sunstone's board. Prior to joining Sunstone, Arabia served as managing director of Green Street Advisors' real estate research team.