Host Hotels CEO Walter to Step Down

Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: HST) announced Dec. 14 that W. Edward Walter will step down as president and CEO of the company at the end of the month.

Walter will be succeeded by James Risoleo, Host’s executive vice president and managing director of investments for the West Coast and Europe. Walter will remain with Host through the end of January to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.

Walter served as NAREIT chair in 2013.

“It has been an enormous privilege to lead Host Hotels for the past decade, and I am proud of everything the team has accomplished together. I have worked closely with Jim throughout my career at Host, and I believe that he is the ideal individual to drive the future success of the company,” Walter said.

Walter has served as president and CEO of Host since October 2007. He joined the company in 1996 as senior vice president for acquisitions. He held a variety of positions within the company, including CFO.

Host Chairman Richard Marriott reflected on Walter’s two decades of service to the company.

“Under his leadership, Host Hotels significantly grew and enhanced its portfolio through more than $7 billion of asset acquisitions and divestitures. We also created one of the strongest balance sheets in the REIT industry, which will provide the foundation for future growth,” Marriott said.

Risoleo joined Host in 1996 and has served in a variety of senior leadership positions, including as chief investment officer from 2000 through 2011. He has overseen investments in Europe since Host began operating there in 2006.

Host’s share price has risen 26 percent in the period from Jan. 4 to Dec. 13. In late afternoon trading on Dec. 14, the stock was trading at $19.00 per share, almost level with the previous day’s close of $19.05.