Hilton Claims Top REIT CEO For New Spinoff
Hilton is poaching Thomas Baltimore—currently CEO of one of the biggest US lodging REITs, RLJ Lodging Trust—to lead the hotel giant’s new REIT spinoff.
Thomas co-founded RLJ with Bob Johnson—the co-founder of BET and the country’s first African-American billionaire—and has managed the firm’s 125 properties since the REIT’s IPO in 2011, the Washington Business Journal reports.
Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta praised Baltimore's industry tenure during Hilton's Q1 earnings call Wednesday, saying, “Tom wasn't just on the list, he was the No. 1, top person on our list.”
The move follows a string of a REIT spinoffs during 2015, including Sears and Olive Garden parent company Darden Restaurants, while both Macy’s and McDonald’s considered REITs to monetize their real estate assets.
Thomas will come on as CEO for Hilton’s new REIT on May 16, five days after leaving RLJ—which agreed to waive the non-compete clause of his contract. [WBJ]