John Murray to become Sonesta CEO

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has revealed that John Murray, a director of the company since 2018, has been appointed president/CEO effective April 1.

Murray (pictured above) has been a managing trustee/president/CEO of Service Properties Trust, which owns a 34% interest in Sonesta, since 2018 and a member of SVC’s management team since its initial public offering in 1995. He succeeds Carlos Flores, who is resigning from his position of the last seven years effective March 31 to relocate his family back to California. Following his resignation, Flores will continue with Sonesta as an advisor to Murray and the company.

“I am excited about this opportunity as I’ve been working closely with Carlos and the Sonesta leadership team for years on SVC’s Sonesta-managed hotels and the development of its franchising capabilities through the Red Lion acquisition,” Murray told Hotel Business. “In a short period of time, Sonesta has become the eighth largest hotel company in the U.S., and my focus is to keep Sonesta on a path of continued growth and success.”

At the time of the announcement, Murray made the following statement:

“I am very excited to assume the role of president/CEO at Sonesta, which is well poised for further growth and expansion. As Sonesta has greatly expanded its number of hotels over the last few years under Carlos’ leadership, it has also enhanced the depth, quality and experience of the Sonesta team. We are grateful to Carlos for his tremendous contribution to Sonesta. I look forward to working closely with the talented leadership team, whom I know well, and our more than 6,000 dedicated employees to continue Sonesta’s growth, enhance Sonesta’s brand awareness and deliver an exceptional guest experience.”

In connection with his transition to his new position, Murray will resign from his roles as president/CEO, Service Properties Trust and president/CEO, Industrial Logistics Properties Trust. He will continue to serve as a managing trustee on the boards of SVC and ILPT, and will also continue to serve as EVP, The RMR Group and a member of RMR’s Executive Operating Committee. Sonesta, SVC and ILPT are clients of RMR, a leading U.S. alternative asset management company.