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Larry Cuculic Has Been Named Next CEO & President of Best Western

BWH Hotel Group, on 8 October 2021, announced the appointment of Larry M Cuculic as its next President and Chief Executive Officer. The decision was finalized by the company’s Board of Directors. Cuculic will take over the reins from David Kong, who was the longest running CEO of any major brand in American hospitality industry’s history, is all set to retire towards the end of this year. 

Cuculic has been serving as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the company for the past 12 years. He will take on his new role of CEO and President from December 1, 2021.

Under the dynamic leadership of David Kong, the company has seen phenomenal growth and transformation. BWH Hotel Group has grown from a single brand to 18 brands during David Kong’s tenure. The company now has brands across all segments, ranging from economy to luxury. The company has also seen a lot of other successes while Kong was at the top, including achieving industry-leading levels of guest satisfaction, successive RevPAR growth records, etc.

All eyes will be on Cuculic to see how he measures up to his predecessor, the outgoing David Kong. Kong set the company on such a massive growth trajectory and set such high standards, his successors will probably have to play out of their skin to keep up with his achievements and standards.

Cuculic has a good track record and excellent credentials of his own. Prior to joining BWH Hotel Group, he was Senior Vice President General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Wabash National Corporation. It would be interesting to see what kind of strategies and approach Cuculic will take, and whether he will continue with Kong’s policies or will steer the company in new directions of his own.

Remarks by Larry Cuculic & David Kong

“I am truly privileged to be asked to serve Best Western, and you, our members in this very important role,” he told the conference audience when he was first introduced. 

“I stand before you today, determined, excited and exhilarated…When I met with the board regarding the position, I assured them, I would serve them, and each of you through hard work, dedicated service and a collaborative spirit that has as its sole purpose, the success of our members. I also assured them I would serve humbly with integrity and honor. I will keep my word.”

David Kong expressed happiness at the appointment of Larry Cuculic and said he thinks it is the right choice by the Board of Directors. He had the following words to say at Cuculic’s appointment, “Today I am pleased to share that my longtime colleague, Larry Cuculic, will be assuming the role of President & CEO of BWH Hotel Group® later this year. “

“Larry brings a wealth of knowledge to the role and has gained valuable experience through a wide range of responsibilities during his tenure with the organization. Over the last 12 years, he has become a well-regarded and respected leader among our corporate associates and hotels,” he continued.