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by Michael J. Shapiro | January 04, 2012

Hotel industry veteran Paul W. Whetsell has been named the new president and CEO of Loews Hotels and will officially join the company Jan. 17, when current president and COO Jack Adler retires. Loews chairman Jonathan Tisch indicated in October that he would cede the CEO position to Adler's replacement. Whetsell, who has more than 35 years of hospitality industry experience, most recently was on the board of directors for the upstart Virgin Hotels company, providing strategic guidance for operations and acquisitions. Whetsell previously served as chairman and CEO of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, and of Meristar Hospitality Corp., which became Interstate in 2002. In part, Loews will be looking to Whetsell to help expand the portfolio of the 18-property company. "With Paul's tenure and experience in the industry, and now in his role as our new president and CEO, we will continue to operate the unique properties in our portfolio, while also looking for additions to the company through acquisition, development and management," Tisch said in a statement.