CHICAGO—Laurence Geller, founder, president and chief executive officer of Strategic Hotels and Resorts Inc., has stepped down from his position and will only serve in an advisory role until the end of the year.
Raymond “Rip” Gellein Jr., chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, has assumed the role of CEO at the real estate investment trust, which currently has ownership interests in 18 properties with an aggregate of 8,271 rooms. Geller also stepped down as a member of the board.
Geller said in a statement that the locally-based company has emerged from the recession a strong company with great assets well positioned for sustained growth in a virtually no-supply environment. In September, the firm reestablished its East Coast presence with the acquisition of the JW Marriott Essex House New York.
“Now is an excellent time to transition leadership of the company into Rip's more-than-capable hands and focus on my myriad other activities and the next chapter in my life,” Geller said. “I remain a significant shareholder of the company and hold it in the highest regard.”
Gellein has been a member of the board since August 2009 and has served as its chairman since August 2010. Previously, he was president of the Global Development Group for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.
"I am fully confident in both the strategic direction of the company as well as the strength and professionalism of its leadership team," said Gellein in the statement. "This group has decades of industry experience and will ensure the Company seamlessly continues the execution of its strategic plan. Given our unique physical assets, profitable hotel operations and strong balance sheet, I am looking forward to leading Strategic Hotels as it realizes its future earnings and operating growth potential."
CHICAGO—Laurence Geller, founder, president and chief executive officer of Strategic Hotels and Resorts Inc., has stepped down from his position and will only serve in an advisory role until the end of the year.

Raymond “Rip” Gellein Jr., chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, has assumed the role of CEO at the real estate investment trust, which currently has ownership interests in 18 properties with an aggregate of 8,271 rooms. Geller also stepped down as a member of the board.

Geller said in a statement that the locally-based company has emerged from the recession a strong company with great assets well positioned for sustained growth in a virtually no-supply environment. In September, the firm reestablished its East Coast presence with the acquisition of the JW Marriott Essex House New York.

“Now is an excellent time to transition leadership of the company into Rip's more-than-capable hands and focus on my myriad other activities and the next chapter in my life,” Geller said. “I remain a significant shareholder of the company and hold it in the highest regard.”

Gellein has been a member of the board since August 2009 and has served as its chairman since August 2010. Previously, he was president of the Global Development Group for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.

"I am fully confident in both the strategic direction of the company as well as the strength and professionalism of its leadership team," said Gellein in the statement. "This group has decades of industry experience and will ensure the Company seamlessly continues the execution of its strategic plan. Given our unique physical assets, profitable hotel operations and strong balance sheet, I am looking forward to leading Strategic Hotels as it realizes its future earnings and operating growth potential."