Hersha Hospitality Trust Announces Planned Leadership Transition
– Founder and Chairman Hasu P. Shah to Retire –
– CEO Jay H. Shah to become Executive Chairman –
– COO Neil H. Shah to become President and Chief Executive Officer –
Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE: HT) (“Hersha” or the “Company”), owner of high-quality hotels in urban gateway markets and regional resort destinations, today announced that its Founder, Hasu P. Shah, intends to retire as Chairman of the Board of Trustees on December 31, 2022, after 38 years with the Company. As part of the planned succession, the Board has selected Chief Executive Officer Jay H. Shah to become Executive Chairman of the Board, and President and Chief Operating Officer Neil H. Shah to become President and CEO and join the Board of Trustees, both appointments to be effective as of January 1, 2023. The Company will be eliminating the role of Chief Operating Officer.
Hasu P. Shah commented: “It has been a great honor to build this business from the ground up, first with my wife, and now with my two sons, alongside a talented and dedicated team. We founded the Company as a partnership with a single property, growing and transforming it into a publicly-traded REIT with a bi-coastal portfolio of luxury and lifestyle hotels in the most valuable urban and resort markets.”
Hasu and Hersha Shah founded the Company with the purchase and renovation of the Riverfront Hotel in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1984. With his sons and partners, Hasu grew the Company and took it public as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in 1998. Under Hasu’s leadership, the Company has since developed, owned, or managed nearly 100 hotels across the U.S., and established itself as an industry leader in sustainability with the creation in 2010 of its award-winning EarthView program.
Jay H. Shah commented: “On behalf of the Board and the entire Company, I’d like to thank and congratulate my father on his long career and invaluable contributions to Hersha. His unwavering determination and commitment to excellence will remain at the core of the business and we are grateful that he will continue on as honorary Chairman Emeritus to assist the Company by donating his time and wisdom. Today’s announcement is the culmination of a thoughtful succession plan to ensure a smooth transition and Hersha’s continued success. Neil has proven to be a thoughtful and dedicated leader, particularly in navigating the challenges presented by the pandemic, and the Board and I are confident he is the right person to lead the Company in this exciting next chapter.”
Neil H. Shah commented: “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of my father and brother and lead Hersha. As a result of these changes, our shareholders will benefit from increased value from a streamlined structure commensurate with our smaller – but very high quality – portfolio. This is an exciting and critical moment for Hersha as the industry continues to recover from the pandemic, and as a result of the work we have done to strengthen and improve our portfolio, we are on a strong trajectory. I look forward to continuing to work with such a dedicated team across the Company as we continue our focus on further growing shareholder value.”