IRVING, Texas, Feb. 19, 2016 (hospitalitybusinessnews.com) — The Board of Directors of La Quinta Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LQ) today announced that they have appointed Keith Cline to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. In addition, Jim Forson has been named the Company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Both leaders had been serving in their respective roles on an interim basis.
Mr. Cline has strong public-company and brand leadership experience across a number of diverse consumer industries and has served as La Quinta’s interim President and Chief Executive Officer since September 2015. Mr. Cline joined La Quinta in January of 2013 as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer where he helped to lead the Company through its initial public offering. Prior to joining La Quinta, Mr. Cline has served in a variety of executive and senior leadership roles at Charming Charlie, Inc., Express, Inc., The J.M. Smucker Company, FedEx Custom Critical, and L Brands. Mr. Cline began his career at Arthur Andersen & Company and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Akron with a B.S. in Accounting and a M.B.A. in Finance.
Mr. Forson has served as La Quinta’s interim Chief Financial Officer since November 2015. Previously, Mr. Forson served as La Quinta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer. Mr. Forson joined the Company in 2010 as Vice President and Controller and also served as Acting Chief Financial Officer from 2012 to 2013. Prior to joining La Quinta, Mr. Forson was Senior Audit Manager with Grant Thornton LLP. Mr. Forson graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce with a B.S. degree in Commerce, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Regarding his appointment, Mr. Cline said, “I am honored to become the President and Chief Executive Office of La Quinta. This is an outstanding organization with a highly engaged leadership team and employee workforce as well as an enthusiastic community of franchise partners that are dedicated to growing the La Quinta brand. We will work tirelessly to satisfy our guests, create value for our shareholders and continue to make La Quinta a great place to work and to invest.”
Mit Shah, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said, “After a broad and thorough search involving a significant number of highly accomplished executives, the Board believes that Keith’s strategic vision, brand experience, team building acumen and his ability to execute make him the right person to lead the Company’s future. The Board is confident that Keith and his executive team will optimize the performance of the La Quinta brand to drive long term growth and enhance shareholder value.”