Extended Stay America appointed former WoodSpring Hotels CEO Bruce Haase president/CEO, effective immediately. Haase succeeds Jonathan Halkyard, who will continue to advise the company through Feb. 25, 2020.
A more than 20-year veteran of the lodging industry, Haase previously served as CEO of WoodSpring Hotels from 2014 to 2016. From 2000 through 2012, he worked at Choice Hotels International, rising to EVP of global brands, marketing and operations.
Haase also has been elected as a director of Extended Stay America. He will continue as a director of the company's paired-share real estate investment trust ESH Hospitality, a role he has held since 2018.
The extended-stay company also appointed Kelly Poling EVP, chief commercial officer and Randy Fox EVP, property operations, both previously vacant positions. Poling most recently served as CEO of Premier Worldwide Marketing, the exclusive worldwide representative for Karisma Hotels & Resorts. Fox most recently served as chief operating officer for InTown Suites and Uptown Suites. Both previously worked at WoodSpring Hotels while Haase was CEO there, Poling as EVP and chief marketing officer from 2014 to 2017 and Fox as EVP of operations from 2012 to 2016.
“We are pleased to welcome Bruce, Kelly and Randy to the leadership team of Extended Stay America,” Douglas Geoga, chairman of the Extended Stay America's boards, said in a statement. “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.”
“I am excited to partner with our management team and 8,000 associates,” Haase said in a statement. “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.”
Extended Stay America currently has 628 hotels in the United States. Subsidiary ESH Hospitality has 555 hotels and more than 61,500 rooms in the U.S. Extended Stay America also manages or franchises an additional 73 Extended Stay America hotels.