Choice Hotels’ New CEO Positions Company for Future Success
In August, Pat Pacious was named the incoming CEO for Choice Hotels International Inc. Pacious was immediately praised as a great fit for the position, due to his more than 20-year history with the hotel company and a wide-spread belief among experts that he would eventually ascend to the job, a belief that dated back as far as four years.
Although it was initially expected that Pacious would take over the job in January, that timeline was bumped forward, and he will now take over the leadership role for Choice Hotels International Inc. in September, as former CEO Steve Joyce leaves the company to become the CEO of DineEquity, a restaurant group that owns the IHOP and Applebee’s restaurant brands, which are both widespread throughout the United States. In fact, these dual leadership changes will officially become effective as of September 12.
Choice initially announced its plans for this succession back in July, saying it would be promoting Pacious, who then held the company’s president and chief operating officer titles. As of August 2, Pacious had taken the lead on the second quarter earnings calls for the company, which seemed unusual to some industry experts at the time but makes more sense now that it has been announced that the switch would be taking place in September.
Pacious history with Choice Hotels dates back to 1997, when he was tapped to be an industry consultant for the company. He became a full time associate with Choice Hotels in 2005. During his tenure with Choice, the company has grown quite a bit, with one in every ten hotels in the United States being a Choice hotel. The brands they hold include Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, and Cambria Hotels and Suites.
What makes Pacious particularly well-suited to lead Choice Hotels is that his time in the company has seen him work with most — if not all — facets of the business, including online distribution, brands, and marketing to international business, operations, and franchise development.
“They looked at the environment, and with the digital disruption that we have going on — a lot of the customer acquisition is being driven by a company’s ability to be successful in the digital economy,” Pacious said in a recent interview. “They were looking for someone who brought that as part of their background, and that’s where my background is at Choice and before that as well. … I think the thing we liked hearing the most was, the day after we announced the transition, one of the analysts said, ‘Well, this CEO transition has been hiding in plain sight.’”
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