International has announced that Wayne Wielgus, executive
vice president and chief marketing officer, will leave the company.The
move coincides with the company’s recent reorganization to a brand-centric
structure, which places more emphasis on driving product and brand
differentiation and related strategies through four brand divisions.
Since joining Choice Hotels in 2000, Wielgus spearheaded numerous
successful marketing programs, including the award winning Thanks for
Traveling campaign and the current I’ve Been Everywhere advertising
campaign. In addition, he developed invaluable partnerships with Bank of
America, Little League Baseball, and more than 10 airlines, all of which
increased Choice’s incremental business and led the company’s initiatives
in the creation of a customer care program and the development and
deployment of the company’s hotel-level guest satisfaction system.
“Wayne has achieved a great deal during his tenure at Choice, including
establishing a strong marketing team and helping the company sharpen its
focus on and understanding of key customer groups,” said Charles A.
Ledsinger, Jr., vice chairman and CEO. “His leadership championed
significant growth in our central reservations contribution, particularly
through our proprietary Web site, choicehotels.com, and third-party
“With the support of Wayne’s leadership, Choice has been able to
significantly increase its brand awareness, reach more guests and deliver
more business to our franchisees and played a major role in our positive
franchisee relationships,” added Joseph M. Squeri, president and COO. “I,
along with the rest of the company’s management team, would like to thank
him for his contributions to Choice’s success over the past six years and
wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Wielgus will assist the company to ensure a smooth transition. The
current marketing leaders will report on an interim basis to Joe Squeri.
These leaders include Bill Carlson, senior vice president of consumer
revenue growth; Mary Beth Knight, senior vice president of eCommerce; Allan
Kane, vice president of worldwide sales and intermediary marketing; and
Mark Weiner, vice president of customer care and reservations. In addition,
Aaron Katz has joined the marketing team as vice president, strategic
initiatives, to provide strategic oversight of the marketing and
reservations budgets, resources and initiatives. This will include the
development and communication of long-term marketing and reservations
strategies, as well as helping to ensure that they are fully integrated and
supportive of the company’s overall strategic direction.
Choice announced its move to a brand-centric structure in October 2006.
The new organizational structure consists of brand-category management
teams, which include the company’s upscale and extended stay market brands
(Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites and Suburban Extended Stay Hotels),
mid-market brands (Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites and Sleep Inn), full-service
market brands and international operations (Quality Inn, Clarion, Clarion
Collection and the company’s international division), and the economy
market brands (Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn).