PEKING (dpa-AFX) - Hotel chain operator China Lodging Group, Limited (HTHT) on Friday announced the appointment of Yunhang Xie as Chief Operating Officer, effective April 5.
Separately, the company announced preliminary hotel operating results for the first quarter, including a 9 percent growth in Revenue Per Available Room or RevPAR, owing partly to strong demand in China's travel market.
Xie has over 16 years of experience in the IT industry. Prior to joining China Lodging Group, since 2000, Xie held several leadership roles in Digital China Networks Co., Ltd., a network equipment and solutions provider.
From 1997 to 2000, Xie served as Deputy General Manager at the network division of Lenovo Science and Technology Development Co., Ltd.
Meanwhile, the company's Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Haijun Wang, Executive Vice President, for personal reasons, effective April 5. Wang was mainly in charge of new brands. Qi Ji, founder, executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company, will take over the management responsibilities for new brands.
Qi Ji will transfer the supervision responsibilities of various operational functions to Xie in the next three to six months. Once the transition is complete, Ji will focus on corporate strategy, new brands and major investment decisions, and Xie will assume responsibilities for the company's overall operation.
Separately, the company said RevPAR in the first quarter grew to 156 yuan from 143 yuan. The company opened 36 net new hotels, including 9 net leased-and-operated hotels and 27 net franchised-and-managed hotels.
Qi Ji said, 'We are pleased to see the robust result in the beginning of this year, attributable to the strong demand in China's travel market and our solid execution. Our fast expansion continues to win support from our customers, as evidenced by a strong year-over-year RevPAR growth.'
HTHT closed on Thursday at $12.18, up $0.42 or 3.57 percent, on a volume of 242,700 shares.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX