Cendant Corporation«s Hotel Division today announced the appointment of industry veteran Thomas W. Higgins as Days Inns Worldwide president & chief executive officer, replacing Joseph R. Kane Jr., who was promoted to Hotel Division group president & chief executive officer in November 2001 and had been leading the brand on an interim basis.
Higgins comes to Cendant from Sun Country Airlines of Minneapolis, where he was chief people officer. From 1996 to 2000 he was president, chief executive officer and owner of DiamondFire Food Systems in San Antonio, a restaurant and video production company.
From 1992 to 1996 he was senior vice president of operations for LaQuinta Inns Inc. in San Antonio, where he developed improved property management, pricing and marketing strategies that grew revenues by $200 million over four years. He also successfully coordinated the $300 million renovation of more than 225 LaQuinta® Inns hotels.
Tom is an accomplished business executive with nearly 30 years of operations, marketing and business development experience, which is a fantastic match for the Days Inn brand, said Kane. We are extremely excited to have Tom join the team, and we are confident the Days Inn chain will excel under his hands-on leadership.
Higgins said his background, which represents a cross section of the travel, hotel and restaurant industries, will benefit the Days Inn® brand at this pivotal time, adding: I was attracted to the Days Inn brand by its solid reputation as well as its strong marketing and operations programs. I look forward to working with the franchise community and with the corporate team to the benefit of the entire brand.
Earlier in his career, Higgins was vice president, human resources, for Motel 6 LLP in Dallas from 1988 to 1992. From 1986 to 1988 he was director of employment for General Mills Restaurants in Orlando, Fla. He served Santikos Theatres in San Antonio as general manger from 1985 to 1986 and was vice president of training for La Quinta Inns from 1978 to 1985. He began his career as director of recruiting for Steak & Ale Restaurants in Dallas from 1973 to 1978. He was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1970 to 1973.
Higgins received his bachelor«s degree in English in 1969 from the University of Texas at Austin.
Days Inns Worldwide, a division of Cendant Corporation (NYSE:CD), franchises 1,946 hotels representing more than 164,000 rooms in the United States, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, India, Jordan, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, Uruguay and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Reservations can be made over the Internet at www.daysinn.com or by calling (800) DAYS INN.