BETHESDA, MD—Lodging REIT Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. has revealed that W. Edward Walter will step down from his executive positions and as a member of the company’s board of directors, effective Dec. 31.
James F. Risoleo, EVP and managing director of investments, West Coast and Europe, will succeed Walter as president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2017, and will also be appointed to the company’s board of directors. Walter will remain on staff through Jan. 31, 2017, to help with the transition of leadership.
“We are grateful for Ed’s innumerable contributions to Host Hotels’ success over his more than two decades of dedicated service to our company. Under his leadership, Host Hotels significantly grew and enhanced its portfolio through more than $7 billion of asset acquisitions and divestitures,” said Richard Marriott, chairman of the Host Hotels Board of directors. “We also created one of the strongest balance sheets in the REIT industry, which will provide the foundation for future growth. Importantly, we have generated significant value for our business partners, stockholders and associates and solidified our position at the forefront of our industry. We thank Ed and wish him all the best.”
Risoleo joined Host Hotels in 1996 and has served in a variety of senior leadership positions during his tenure, including as chief investment officer from 2000 through 2011. He has overseen investments in Europe since the inception of Host Hotels’ activities there in 2006 and is currently responsible for all of the company’s West Coast investment activities.
“Host Hotels benefits from a strong and deep executive leadership team, and we are pleased to have someone of Jim’s caliber to succeed Ed. With 20 years of experience at our company, Jim has broad-based experience and benefits from exposure to a range of disciplines across Host Hotels, along with an intimate knowledge of our business, our operations and the real estate and lodging industries,” said Marriott. “Additionally, his business acumen and expertise have been instrumental in developing our best-in-class portfolio of assets. I am confident that Jim and our executive team will provide outstanding leadership to create a culture of collaboration and innovation to deliver long-term growth in value for our stockholders.”
Walter said, “It has been an enormous privilege to lead Host Hotels for the past decade, and I am proud of everything the team has accomplished together. I have worked closely with Jim throughout my career at Host, and I believe that he is the ideal individual to drive the future success of the company.”
“I am honored to become the next president and CEO of Host Hotels and work alongside such a talented group of individuals,” said Risoleo. “The company has a superior and diversified portfolio of iconic properties, a solid balance sheet and a strong executive team with which to execute our plans for future success. I look forward to working with the dedicated associates across our organization as we implement our plans to drive growth, profitability and stockholder value creation.”