Commune announces Leondakis to be new CEO

Commune Hotels & Resorts, the joint venture created last year between lifestyle operators Thompson Hotels and Joie de Vivre, on Thursday named Niki Leondakis as its new CEO.

Leondakis starts at Commune on November 26 after working for nearly 20 years at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant Group, San Francisco, where she most recently served as president and chief operating officer.

“Niki’s work at Kimpton exhibited her passion and balanced approach to leadership. Having Niki partner with us at this time gives her a unique opportunity to impact all aspects of the company during a period of rapid expansion,” said John Pritzker, Commune co-chairman.

In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Pritzker said that Leondakis will give Commune credibility with REITs. Commune has a 46-hotel portfolio including the Thompson Hotels and Joie de Vivre properties, all in the U.S. with the exception of Belgraves, located in London. Pritzker said wants Leondakis to lead the company to US$1 billion in revenue.

Outgoing Commune CEO Stephen Brandman will remain an owner and member of the company’s board of directors.

“After 12 years of leading the company and now splitting my time between San Fran and New York I realized that three weeks on the road each month was not working for me. My partners understand so now I am focusing on developing new hotel deals, which I love,” said Brandman. “I fully support Niki and think she will be great.”