Global Hyatt Corporation, the restructured entity that hosts all of the Hyatt branded hotel operations, has lost its president, Doug Geoga, after 23 years of service within the company.
Geoga had been expected to lead the company into its next chapter, possibly a stock market listing, but now the US giant is hunting for a replacement.
The $15bn Pritzker family empire started the move to create an integrated Hyatt just over two years ago. It followed feuding within the family that saw a number of family members wanting to realise their share of the business.
Geoga was chosen to lead the creation of Global Hyatt that principally involved the joining together of US-based Hyatt Hotels Corporation with Hyatt International. Achieving this seemingly simple task, however, required 53 separate mergers.
The hotels business was successfully woven together, however, and Geoga has added to it through the acquisition of two extended stay brands: AmeriSuites, soon to be Hyatt Place, and Summerfield Suites, a more upscale offering that will soon be rebadged Hyatt Summerfield Suites.
In addition to these extended stay concepts, Hyatt owns US Franchise Systems, which franchises Hawthorn Suites and Microtel Inns and Suites, and Hyatt Vacation Club, the timeshare operation. All told, the Hyatt hotel interests could be worth up to $11bn.
Geoga is leaving Hyatt at the end of June to set up a hospitality and advisory firm. Hyatt said that it would continue its relationship with him as a client of his new firm.
The interim replacement for Geoga is Mark Hoplamazian, currently president of the Pritzker Organisation, a merchant banking firm serving the interests of the family. A search firm has been retained to find a longer-term replacement.
The exact reasons for Geoga's departure are unclear but some commentators remarked that it may have been time for new blood at the top of Hyatt. Laurence Geller, chief executive officer of Strategic Hotel Capital, was reported as saying that while Geoga did an incredible job unifying Hyatt, it was a case of both parties – Geoga and Hyatt – now needing a change.