Hyatt Taps Jim Chu to Lead Select-Service, Franchise Businesses

CHICAGO—Hyatt Hotels Corporation has appointed its longtime executive Jim Chu to the newly created position of global head of select-service and franchise strategy, designed to strengthen and support the continued growth of the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands. Chu will report to Steve Haggerty, global head of capital strategy, franchising and select-service for Hyatt.

In addition, Hyatt announced Susan Santiago has been selected as SVP, global select-service and franchise operations. Santiago will report to Chu.

“Strong leadership will continue to propel the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands as we believe they are tremendous growth engines for our business and have earned consistent financial results,” said Haggerty. “I’m confident that under Jim and Susan’s strategic guidance, these brands will build on their success and momentum among owners, franchisees and guests.”

Chu will continue to lead Hyatt’s global franchise strategy, and he will assume a new responsibility for the strategy to grow Hyatt’s select-service business worldwide. Santiago’s new role combines oversight for select- and full-service franchise operations globally, creating efficiencies for both operations and owner resources, according to the company.

“Jim has been a leading figure in building Hyatt’s franchising business model and development of our select-service brands. He has shown a unique ability to cultivate productive relationships, both among his team and with our valued owners and franchisees,” said Haggerty. “Coupled with Susan’s tremendous operational expertise and passion for people, we believe they will make a great team in advancing the expansion of our select-service and franchising businesses worldwide.”

Since joining Hyatt more than a decade ago, Chu has held several leadership positions in roles that work with franchisees and third-party owners. Prior to Hyatt, Chu served in various roles with Wyndham International, including general manager, regional VP of sales and SVP of business development.

Santiago’s Hyatt career spans more than 20 years, beginning at Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. She worked her way through an ascending series of food and beverage positions at Hyatt hotels around the country before serving in GM roles in Key West, FL; Aruba and Los Angeles. In addition, Santiago held leadership roles at the corporate office, overseeing food and beverage operations in the Americas and, most recently, all regional operations.