Aimbridge Hospitality announces management changes

2 min reading time

Published on 29/02/24 - Updated on 29/02/24

Craig S. Smith

Aimbridge Hospitality appoints Craig S. Smith as Chief Executive Officer and Steve Joyce as Executive Chairman. At the same time, Michael Barnello joins the Aimbridge Board of Directors.

Smith, formerly Group President and Managing Director - International at Marriott International, brings a wealth of experience to his new role, ready to lead Aimbridge into its next phase of growth and success. With a career spanning decades in the hospitality industry, Smith's leadership of Marriott International has been marked by many achievements. As Group President and Global CEO, Mr Smith oversaw the management of more than 2,500 hotels across 28 brands in 136 countries and territories. His strategic vision and operational expertise contributed to significant growth, with sales reaching $23 billion under his leadership.

At Aimbridge, Smith will draw on his extensive experience to prioritise the role of the General Manager, driving property performance and fostering a leading corporate culture.

"Aimbridge's reputation as a trusted global hotel operator and the team's desire to outperform at every turn is what excites me about taking on the CEO role. There is still tremendous opportunity to enhance our service offering to consistently deliver outstanding results for our owners and further drive brand expansion across all verticals domestically and abroad. As we go forward, we'll put even greater emphasis on strengthening operations and simplifying our approach to be built around the General Manager, activating operational efficiencies that leverage our scale and create material value for us and our partners, and doubling down on our commitment to recruit, develop and train the best people in the industry, including helping the next generation of talent thrive." - Craig S. Smith

Alongside Smith's appointment, Aimbridge has made significant changes to its Board of Directors to support the company's strategic objectives. Steve Joyce, a seasoned hospitality executive with over forty years' experience, will take on the role of Executive Chairman. Mr Joyce's tenure at Choice Hotels International and his recent involvement with the Aimbridge Board make him a valuable asset in guiding the strategic direction of the business.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Aimbridge can – and will be – the best third-party operator in the world, and it starts with embedding a seasoned leader with a deep track record of driving outsized performance across all key metrics—that's Craig S. Smith. If you look at what Craig has achieved during his 35-year career as a hospitality leader, it's clear that he knows how to develop winning strategies, set superior operational standards, and most critically, motivate and activate teams to get the best out of his people. In my role as Executive Chairman, I look forward supporting Craig as we take Aimbridge to the next level and work to deliver the best product offering the industry has seen to date." - Steve Joyce

In addition, Michael Barnello, former Chief Executive Officer of LaSalle Hotel Properties and Managing Partner of Badlands Hotel Capital, joins Aimbridge's Board of Directors. His in-depth knowledge of the hospitality market and owner-focused perspective will be instrumental in expanding Aimbridge's global footprint and enhancing owner relationships.

Aimbridge Hospitality

Aimbridge Hospitality


  • Aimbridge Hospitality United-States
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