As the new year took hold, Loews Hotels set its future in motion with the announcement of a new president and CEO. In January, Jonathan Tisch, chairman of Loews Hotels and co-chairman of the Board of Loews Corporation, announced that Paul W. Whetsell joined the company effective Jan. 17. He succeeds Jack Adler, who is retiring.
Whetsell, who holds a bachelor of arts degree from Davidson College, has more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Most recently he served as a member of the board of directors of Virgin Hotels, providing strategic guidance in its operations and property acquisition activities. In 1987, he founded the original CapStar Hotel Company, which became one of the industry’s largest owners with over 110 hotels and $3 billion in assets.
In 1998, CapStar was divided into Meristar Hospitality Corporation and Meristar Hotels and Resorts, which became Interstate Hotels & Resorts in 2002. Whetsell served as chairman and CEO of Meristar Hospitality until the company was sold in 2006. He served as chairman and CEO of Interstate Hotels & Resorts until 2003, remaining chairman until 2009.
“With Paul’s tenure and experience in the industry, and now in his role as our new president and CEO, we will continue to operate the unique properties in our portfolio, while also looking for additions to the company through acquisition, development, and management,” Tisch said in making the executive appointment announcement.
“I am extremely excited to be joining Jon and the Loews Hotels team. Loews has a long tradition of owning and operating high quality hotels and delivering great guest experiences,” added Whetsell. “Working in partnership with Jon, our objective is to further develop and grow the brand while delivering superior financial operating results.”
Following the announcement, Whetsell indicated in published reports that he wants to clarify and define the brand through growth and increased distribution. He also said in published reports that the company would look at both individual acquisitions and mergers as a means of growth.
Adler stepped down as president after more than 20 years with Loews Hotels. Adler began working at the New York-based company in 1989 as senior vice president of finance administration in the hotel division. He was promoted to president in 2000, when Tisch dropped the title to become chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels.
The company had been searching for a new president and CEO since Adler’s announcement. Recently Tisch, who had served as CEO, decided to cede that position.
Loews Hotels is the owner or manager of 18 hotels in North America, including properties in New York, Philadelphia, Miami Beach, and New Orleans.