Choice promotes VP to new chief customer officer role

The hotel's exterior
As of Sept. 30, Choice Hotels International had more than 7,000 hotels with nearly 575,000 guestrooms, including the Cambria Hotel Charleston (S.C.) Riverview. Photo credit: Choice Hotels International
Sarah Searls headshot
Sarah Searls. Photo credit: Choice Hotels International

Choice Hotels International promoted Sarah Searls, most recently its VP of digital commerce, to the newly created role of chief customer officer. In her expanded role, she will lead the company’s marketing and customer acquisition, digital experiences, loyalty and customer care functions. She will continue to report to Robert McDowell, Choice’s chief commercial officer.

"For the last decade, Sarah has been integral to the development of Choice's strategic business decisions and consumer-facing digital products and communications, delivering billions to our franchised properties in annual gross room revenue," McDowell said in a statement. "As we harness customer insights and data to personalize the guest experience and develop innovative ways to drive business to our franchisees, Sarah's leadership, strong analytical skills and marketing expertise will take our 'customer-first' strategy to new heights."

Searls joined Choice in 2009 as the first member of its enterprise-wide analytics function, leading the design of the analytical solutions and tools that drive Choice's strategic business decisions today. In 2015, she moved into the role of VP of digital commerce, where she oversaw ChoiceHotels.com, Choice Hotels’ mobile app and emerging digital consumer experiences.

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