Author:Rudnitsky, Steven A.
Position:NDTA Corporate Member Executive Profile

Steven Rudnitsky is responsible for the strategic direction of Cendant Corporation's hotel group, the world's largest lodging franchisor with more than 6,500 hotels open on five continents under the Super 8, Days Inn, Ramada, Travelodge, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Villager, Wingate Inn, and AmeriHost Inn, brands.

Reporting to him are the group's chief operating officer, group president, the presidents of the Ramada, Wingate Inn and AmeriHost Inn brands, the executive vice president of franchise sales and development, the senior vice president of sales and marketing, the senior vice president of brand strategy, the chief Information officer, the chief financial officer, the vice president of human resources, the senior vice president of strategic development and general counsel.

During his first weeks on the job, Rudnitsky developed and implemented a three-year strategic plan to: 1) re-establish Cendant's lodging value proposition to franchisees; 2) reverse RevPAR declines and growing with the industry; 3) accelerate alternative revenue growth; 4) strengthen and align the organization and attack costs and; 5) prioritize site growth by market. As part of the plan, he established a strategic marketing planning function and refocused the group's marketing efforts on consumers, which resulted in immediate maximization of funds for more effective ad spending. With international development a top priority for growth, Rudnitsky acquired Canadian franchise rights to the Ramada brand in late 2002.

Reaffirming the group's lodging value proposition, he launched Project Restore, an effort to upgrade or eliminate substandard quality and non-performing hotels; Operation Renew, an educational campaign conducted at individual hotels to reinforce the importance of guest satisfaction issues; and Project Resolve, a series of revenue-enhancement training sessions conducted at no cost to franchisees in 46 dries across the country.

Prior to joining Cendant in March 2002, Rudnitsky was president of Kraft Food Services and executive vice president of Kraft Foods, based in Glenview, Ill. When Kraft consummated its acquisition of Nabisco in December 2000, he was asked to lead the integration of the companies' food service businesses. He subsequently designed and implemented integration and distribution plans to drive top-line performance to customers including restaurants, schools, convenience stores, hospitals and hotels. His responsibilities spanned all products...

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