The board of directors of Gaylord Entertainment Co. has appointed Colin V. Reed, president and chief executive officer, to the additional role of chairman of the board, effective at the next annual meeting to be held in May, 2005. Reed will succeed Michael D. Rose, the current chairman of Gaylord, who will become chairman of the board's executive committee. The Board further announced that it has extended employment agreements for Reed and Rose through May, 2008 and May, 2009, respectively.
Reed has been CEO of Gaylord since April 2001 and is largely credited with successfully re-directing and re-engaging Gaylord's business focus. During his successful tenure at Gaylord, the company has opened the Gaylord Palms in Orlando and the Gaylord Texan in Dallas to great industry acclaim, reoriented its service culture, recruited a top-tier management team, restructured its balance sheet and through the acquisition of ResortQuest, created a platform for growth and earnings.
Rose has had a distinguished career in the hospitality business, having served as chairman and chief executive officer for Promus Hotel Corporation, Harrah's Entertainment Inc. and Holiday Corporation and has worked closely with Reed for the better part of the last 25 years.
Commenting on the decision to slate Reed as chairman of the board in 2005, Rose said, "I am pleased the Board chose to pass this position on to Colin and we do so with unanimous support for the decision. Colin and I enjoy a great working relationship, and I am sure the transition will be seamless. I look forward to continuing to work with him as chairman of the board's executive committee."
"Thanks to Colin's leadership over the past three years, Gaylord Entertainment has undergone a dramatic transformation," said Ralph Horn, former chairman and chief executive officer of First Horizon National and the lead outside director of the Gaylord board. "He has brought strategic focus, established financial credibility and successfully instilled a service-oriented culture throughout the company's operations. The board has great confidence that Colin will lead Gaylord to continued growth and development."
"I appreciate the board's recognition of the company's successful evolution and its confidence in our future progress," said Reed. "Our team has accomplished a great deal thus far and yet we are just beginning to see the results of our initiatives. With the support of the board, I believe we are building a company that will further empower our employees, delight our customers and deliver value for our shareholders."
Prior to joining Gaylord, Reed had been with Harrah's Entertainment Inc., where he had been chief financial officer and chief development officer and a member of its board of directors. At Harrah's, Reed also was a member of the three-person office of the president.
Reed began his management career in hospitality with Holiday Inns Inc. in 1977 in its Europe, Middle East and Africa division, where he became the chief financial officer for the division. In 1987, he became executive assistant to Rose, working side-by-side with him during the growth and expansion the company enjoyed in ensuing years. He then served as senior vice president for development for the Promus Companies Inc. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen