Christopher Nassetta has been named president and CEO of Hilton Hotels Corp., which was acquired last week for $26 billion by The Blackstone Group. He has spent the past seven years in charge of Host Hotels & Resorts. Former CEO Stephen Bollenbach retired upon completion of the buyout, and president and COO Matthew Hart has agreed to step down (but will remain on the board of directors).
The Blackstone Group's real estate and corporate private equity funds completed the acquisition of Hilton on October 24, 2007. Blackstone views Hilton as an important strategic investment and intends to invest in its properties and brands to enhance the Company's growth. As stated at the time of the initial announcement in July, Blackstone has no intention of selling any brands or major assets as a result of the transaction.
Jonathan Gray, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone said, “Our goal with Hilton is to build the premier global hospitality company. We are confident that Chris will be a superb addition to the already strong Hilton team. Given his background overseeing the world's largest hotel ownership company, Chris understands the needs of hotel owners and is uniquely qualified to lead Hilton. I've known Chris personally for 15 years and have worked successfully side-by-side with him in the past. He's a man of the absolute highest integrity, who cares deeply about people. He has the energy, enthusiasm and experience to lead Hilton, and it's with great pleasure that we welcome him to the team.“
Blackstone's strategy includes maintaining strong unit growth in the
Chris Nassetta commented, “I am excited to join this great company and am looking forward to working with Hilton's franchisees, owners and team members to grow this already impressive franchise. Hilton has a powerful collection of brands and we now have the opportunity to build on the strong foundation that already exists to drive the company's growth, particularly overseas, to create the pre-eminent lodging company in the world. I also look forward to working with Blackstone, who I know from experience will be a terrific strategic partner for Hilton going forward.“
As President and CEO of Hilton, Mr. Nassetta will oversee Hilton's extensive line of quality brands, including: Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection. Mr. Nassetta intends to work closely with the existing management team, including Thomas Keltner, Chief Executive Officer –
About Christopher Nassetta
Christopher J. Nassetta will join Hilton Hotels Corp. from Host Hotels & Resorts, where he has been President and Chief Executive Officer since 2000. Prior to joining Host, Mr. Nassetta co-founded Bailey Capital Corporation in 1991, where he was responsible for the operations of the real estate investment and advisory firm. He also spent seven years serving as Chief Development Officer and in various other positions with The Oliver Carr Company. Mr. Nassetta serves as a Director of CoStar Group, Inc., is Second Vice Chair and serves on the Board of Governors of National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, is a member and chairman of The Real Estate Roundtable, and is a member of the McIntire School of Commerce Advisory Board for the
Mr. Nassetta graduated from the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce with a degree in finance and studied international finance at the London School of Economics.
Hilton Hotels Corporation is the leading global hospitality company, with 2,896 properties totaling approximately 500,000 rooms in 76 countries and territories.
The company owns, manages or franchises a hotel portfolio of some of the best known and highly regarded brands, including Hilton