Georges Le Mener, president and chief executive officer of the newly formed, Dallas, TX-based Accor Economy Lodging, which operates the Red Roof Inns, Motel 6 and Studio 6 economy lodging brands, today named Joe Wheeling chief operating officer of Red Roof Inns. The announcement immediately follows the completed acquisition of Red Roof Inns by Accor Economy Lodging`s parent company, Paris-based Accor, for $1.1 billion.
Promoted from his previous position as senior vice president of external and technical resources for Motel 6, Wheeling will be responsible for daily operations of the Red Roof Inns brand. While at Motel 6, Wheeling served on the lodging leader`s executive committee and was responsible for the renovation effort that was the foundation of Motel 6`s significant turnaround efforts. He directed the brand`s system-wide, $600 million renovation of its nearly 800 properties, and also was instrumental in the recent introduction of its extended-stay lodging brand, Studio 6.
“For the past few years, Joe has proven himself a tremendous leader and has helped us implement significant operational improvements,” Le Mener said. “We believe he will bring even greater vision, persistence and desire to provide the best in economy lodging to his new position with Red Roof Inns. We are proud to welcome the Red Roof Inns brand to the Accor Economy Lodging family, and have extremely high expectations both for the continued growth of this brand and for Joe`s leadership of the Red Roof team.”
According to Wheeling, “Motel 6 and Red Roof Inns are naturally complementary brands given the many operational synergies we`ve already identified. I believe my experience and re-engineering accomplishments at Motel 6 enable me to bring fresh perspective to Red Roof, and that with the excellent team of professionals already in place, together we can foster the brand`s growth and development well into the next millenium.”
With regard to brand identity, Wheeling said, “Motel 6 and Red Roof Inns will continue to be operated as separate divisions with very different identities. We wholeheartedly believe in the strength and brand awareness of the Red Roof Inns name, and will focus on leveraging this reputation through strategic growth.`
As part of this operating philosophy, the Red Roof brand will continue to be marketed primarily to the value-minded business traveler, while leisure guests will continue to be Motel 6`s primary target. And, under the Accor Economy Lodging corporate umbrella, plans call for broadened distribution of both brands through franchising efforts as well as conversions and, where strategic, new development.
Wheeling first joined Motel 6 in 1993 as director of procurement and re-engineering and in 1994, was promoted to vice president of operations support. In this position, he led the Motel 6 re-engineering effort, supervised procurement and utilities, negotiated and managed major contracts, and coordinated all communications to the Motel 6 field network. He was named senior vice president of Motel 6 in 1997. Prior to joining Motel 6, Wheeling served as a manager at Deloitte & Touche where he worked with such major clients as GTE, Southwestern Bell Corp., Holiday Inn, Dresser Industries and Motel 6, managing business process re-engineering programs, strategic cost management efforts and mergers and acquisitions. He began his career in commercial real estate development in Los Angeles. Wheeling has an MBA in finance and strategic planning from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS from Colorado State University.
A division of Paris-based Accor, the third-largest hospitality company in the world, Accor Economy Lodging owns and operates the Red Roof Inns, Motel 6 and Studio 6 economy lodging brands. With 1,112 owned and managed properties representing more than 122,000 rooms, Dallas, Texas-based Accor Economy Lodging is one of the nation`s largest lodging companies and, in aggregate, comprises 10% of the U.S. economy lodging sector.