ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Jan. 19, 2015 (hospitalitybusinessnews.com) — Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed John Arabia, the Company’s President, to the additional role of Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.
Mr. Arabia succeeds Ken Cruse as CEO. Mr. Cruse has left the Company and will be pursuing other opportunities and has resigned from his position on the Board.
“John is a skilled and seasoned executive who has been instrumental in Sunstone’s recent portfolio transformation and de-leveraging initiatives, which strengthened our balance sheet and significantly improved our portfolio quality and growth prospects,” said Keith Locker, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board. “We are pleased with the strategic direction of the Company and are confident in the ability of our executive team to execute effectively and seamlessly on our plans to drive value for shareholders.”
“I look forward to continuing to work with the Board of Directors and Sunstone’s deep and highly experienced executive team to create value for our shareholders,” said Mr. Arabia. “Our portfolio is well positioned to take advantage of what appears will be a long cyclical upturn. Our hotel repositionings in both Boston and Maui are moving forward as planned and are expected to add value through meaningful increases in revenues and profits. Furthermore, our low-levered balance sheet enhances our financial stability and flexibility to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities. I am fully committed to Sunstone and our shareholders.”
Mr. Locker continued, “On behalf of the entire Board, I thank Ken for his many contributions over the past nine years at Sunstone, and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Pursuant to the terms of his existing employment agreement, Mr. Cruse is entitled to contractual payments as a result of his separation from the Company. The Company has not entered into any new compensatory arrangements with Mr. Cruse in connection with his separation.
Mr. Arabia joined Sunstone in April 2011 as Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Chief Financial Officer. In February 2013, he was promoted to President and since February 2014 has served on Sunstone’s Board. Prior to joining Sunstone, Mr. Arabia served as Managing Director of Green Street Advisors’ real estate research team. Mr. Arabia joined Green Street in 1997 and created and managed the firm’s lodging research platform. Prior to joining Green Street, Mr. Arabia was a Consulting Manager at EY Kenneth Leventhal in the firm’s west coast lodging consulting practice. Mr. Arabia, who earned a CPA certificate from the state of Illinois, holds an M.B.A. degree in Real Estate/Accounting from the University of Southern California and a B.S. degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. Mr. Arabia serves on the Board of Directors of EdR, a publicly traded REIT and one of America’s largest owners, developers and managers of collegiate housing.