ARLINGTON, Virginia—Interstate Hotels & Resorts today announced that Jim Abrahamson has joined Interstate initially as president and chief operating officer. He will assume the role of chief executive officer prior to year-end, following a transition period with current CEO Thomas F. Hewitt, who will remain as chairman.
Abrahamson previously was president, the Americas, for Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), that company’s largest operating unit. During his tenure there, he revitalized IHG’s core brand, Holiday Inns, in the Americas through a comprehensive brand re-imaging and capital investment program. He previously held senior leadership positions in operations, franchising and development with Hyatt Corporation, Marcus Corporation and Hilton Worldwide.
“We are fortunate to attract a leader of Jim’s stature, with his talents, background and relationships,” said Thomas F. Hewitt, Interstate’s chairman and chief executive officer. “He has played key roles in the growth and success of a number of the world’s leading hotel brands. He has great relationships with the brands and owners around the globe and is the perfect fit to complement our recent and planned rapid growth and international expansion. Jim brings the requisite experience, drive and character that will play a key role in our future. ”
Abrahamson will oversee all domestic and international operations, finance, development and support functions of IHR, which currently manages 334 hotels in nine countries. The company has experienced dramatic growth in 2011, adding more than 100 new hotels to its management portfolio, including its first properties in China.
“I have worked closely with Interstate as a franchisor over the past two decades and respect their ability to operate at the highest levels, and their track record of providing superior returns to their owners,” Abrahamson said. “I appreciate the confidence IHR’s Board of Directors has in my ability to work with not only the U.S.’s leading management company, but to play a pivotal role in pioneering third-party hotel management on a global basis. No other operator approaches the breadth of their experience, their entrepreneurial drive and their global vision for the hotel industry.”
Lee Pillsbury, co-Chairman of Thayer Lodging Group, a 50 percent joint-venture owner of Interstate, said, “Jim is a top quality executive and person who will bring a great deal to the development of the company and its people.” Fred Malek, co-Chairman of Thayer Lodging Group added, “Our commitment to growing Interstate’s capabilities is further evidenced by Jim’s arrival. We have a strong client and performance culture, and he fits right in.” Yu Minliang, chairman Jin Jiang International Holdings, Co., Ltd., co-owner of Interstate, noted, “Mr. Jim Abrahamson is a well-regarded executive with a long record of success. We look forward to further growth and welcome him to the Interstate family.”
Abrahamson is active in a number of industry and community affairs, including the American Hotel & Lodging Association, US Travel Association and Real Estate Roundtable. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota.
Jerry Daly, Carol McCune
Interstate Hotels & Resorts