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Loews Seeks CEO for Hotel Unit as Tisch, Adler Cede Roles

Loews Corp., the owner or manager of 18 hotels in North America, is searching for a new chief executive officer of the lodging business after Jonathan Tisch said he is stepping down from that role.

Korn/Ferry International was hired to look for a CEO who will also be president, Loews said today in a statement. Tisch, 57, treasurer of the National Football League’s New York Giants and co-chairman of the 2014 Super Bowl Host Committee, will remain chairman of Loews Hotels and co-chairman of Loews Corp.

Jack Adler, who is president, will step down in 2012 after more than 20 years with the firm, the company said. Adler began working at the New York-based company in 1989 as senior vice president of finance administration in the hotel division. He was promoted to president in 2000, when Tisch dropped the title to became chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels.

“Loews Corp. is committed to the hotel business and specifically to expansion as well as investing in our existing properties,” Tisch said in the statement.

Loews has been betting on increased business in Orlando, Florida, where it has three hotels. Other properties include the Regency Hotel in New York and Ventana Canyon in Tucson, Arizona. Loews also owns an oil-drilling company, natural-gas pipelines and Chicago-based commercial insurer CNA Financial Corp.

The U.S. lodging industry has rebounded since the recession depressed demand in 2009 and 2010. Hotel occupancies in the U.S. climbed to 61 percent year-to-date through August from 59 percent a year earlier, according to Hendersonville, Tennessee-based Smith Travel Research Inc.

Loews hotels generated net income of $6 million on revenue of $89 million in the second quarter. That compares with profit of $4 million and revenue of $81 million a year earlier.

Slower growth in the U.S. economy could weigh on hotel occupancy and room rates, Patrick Scholes, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets Corp., said last week. The U.S. jobless rate has been at 9 percent or higher since the end of the first quarter.

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