Ashford Hospitality CEO Douglas Kessler leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about three years in the position
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Kessler
  • Rob Hays taking over

(exechange) — Dallas, Texas, April 30, 2020 — Douglas Kessler, chief executive of Ashford Hospitality, leaves. As announced by Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, April 30, 2020, Douglas A. Kessler leaves his post as chief executive officer at the real estate investment trust after about three years in the role, effective May 14, 2020.

Douglas Kessler’s duties as CEO will be taken over by J. Robison (Rob) Hays, currently Chief Strategy Officer of Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc.

“To pursue other professional opportunities”

Douglas Kessler’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. Ashford Hospitality said: “Douglas A. Kessler is voluntarily resigning as President and Chief Executive Officer to pursue other professional opportunities.”

Precise information regarding Douglas Kessler’s future plans was not immediately available.


Ashford Hospitality said: “On April 26, 2020, Douglas A. Kessler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (the “Company”), gave notice of his intention to voluntarily resign from his employment and all other positions he holds with the Company’s advisor, Ashford Inc., and its subsidiaries, affiliated entities, and entities that it advises (including the Company) in order to pursue other professional opportunities. Mr. Kessler’s resignation will be effective May 14, 2020.”

Share price decline

The announcement follows a decline in Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc.’s share price of 88% since February 2017.

Chaired by Monty J. Bennett

Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc. is chaired by Monty J. Bennett.

Monty J. Bennett was first elected to the Company’s Board in May 2003 and has served as a director of the Company since that time and served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer from that time until February 2017. Effective in January 2013, Bennett was appointed as the Chairman of the Company’s Board.

In the position of CEO since 2017

Douglas Kessler became CEO of the Company in 2017.

Kessler will remain with the Company until May 14, 2020 to assist with the transition and be available to the Company for a year on a consulting basis.

Kessler is also resigning as Senior Managing Director of Ashford Inc. (NYSE American: AINC).

Kessler has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since February 2017 and served as the Company’s President since January 2009.

He served on the Company’s Board from January 2013 until November 2013.

Kessler was also the President and a director of Braemar from April 2013 until April 2017.

Kessler also previously served as the President of Ashford Inc. from November 2014 until March 2018. Kessler became a Senior Managing Director of Ashford Inc. in March 2018.

Prior to being appointed President of the Company, Kessler served as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer and Head of Acquisitions beginning in May 2003.

Kessler has spearheaded numerous key initiatives while at Ashford and has been responsible for several billion dollars of capital transactions along with the growth of the Company’s asset base.

From July 2002 until August 2003, Kessler also served as the Managing Director/Chief Investment Officer of Remington Lodging.

Prior to joining Remington Lodging in 2002, Kessler was employed by Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall Real Estate Funds, from 1993 to 2002, where he assisted in the management of several billion dollars of real estate involving multiple operating partner platforms worldwide.

During his time at Whitehall, Kessler served on the boards or executive committees of several lodging companies, including Westin Hotels and Resorts and Strategic Hotel Capital.

Kessler is a frequent speaker and panelist at lodging industry conferences including Americas Lodging Investment Summit and the NYU Lodging Conference.

Kessler is a member of the AHLA Investment Roundtable. Kessler has more than 30 years’ experience in real estate transactions, finance, capital markets, and asset-management.

Kessler has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Stanford University.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding the management change on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Ashford Hospitality and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 18.2020 ($).