Ashford Trust CEO Monty Bennett leaves post abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After almost 14 years on the job
  • Douglas Kessler taking over
  • Bennett will remain as Chairman of the Board at Ashford Trust

( — Dallas, Texas, February 21, 2017 — This news came the day after Presidents Day. Monty Bennett, chief executive of Ashford Trust, leaves the position. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, Montgomery J. (Monty) Bennett has already left the post as Chief Executive Officer at the real estate investment trust in a surprising move after almost 14 years on the job, effective February 20, 2017.

It is the end of an era.

Bennett’s duties are taken over by Douglas A. Kessler, most recently President at Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc.

No reason given

In the announcement, Ashford Trust did not explicitly explain the reason for Bennett’s sudden move, leaving room for speculation.

“Ceased to serve as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer”

Ashford Trust said: “[O]n February 20, 2017, Mr. Monty J. Bennett ceased to serve as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer.”

Bennett will remain as Chairman of the Board at Ashford Trust

“Monty J. Bennett, the Company’s previous Chief Executive Officer, remains Chairman of the Board of Ashford Trust,” Ashford Trust said.

Share price rise since October 2016

The change follows a rise in the share price of Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. since October 2016.

On the job as CEO since 2003

Bennett is the Founder of Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. and has been the Chairman since January 19, 2013, its Chief Executive Officer and Director since May 2003 and previously served as its President from May 2003 to January 2009.

Bennett is the Founder, Chairman, & Chief Executive Officer of Ashford (NYSE MKT: AINC) and serves as the Founder, Chairman, & Chief Executive Officer of both Ashford Hospitality Trust (NYSE: AHT) and Ashford Hospitality Prime (NYSE: AHP).

Bennett is a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Industry Real Estate Finance Advisory Council (IREFAC), the Urban Land Institute’s Hotel Council, the Global Advisory Council of Hoftel, a worldwide hotel ownership group, and is on the Advisory Editorial board for

He is also a member of the CEO Fiscal Leadership Council for Fix the Debt, a non-partisan group dedicated to reducing the nation’s federal debt level and on the advisory board of Texans for Education Reform.

Formerly, Bennett was a member of Marriott’s Owner Advisory Council and Hilton’s Embassy Suites Franchise Advisory Council.

Bennett is a frequent speaker and panelist for various hotel development and investment conferences including the NYU conference and the ALIS conference.

Bennett received the Top-Performing CEO Award from HVS for 2011.

This award is presented each year to the CEO in the hospitality industry who offers the best value to shareholders based on HVS’s pay-for-performance model.

The model compares financial results relative to CEO compensation, as well as a stock appreciation, company growth and increases in EBITDA.

Bennett holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Cornell’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management and received a Bachelor of Science degree with distinction from the School of Hotel Administration also at Cornell. He is a life member of the Cornell Hotel Society.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Monty Bennett’s move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the report 09.2017 ($).