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Variety reports that Gerry Lopez, the former Starbucks and Procter & Gamble executive who has been president/CEO of AMC Theatres since 2009, is stepping down from the job. He is moving to Extended Stay America as president/CEO, where he will succeed Jim Donald, who once was his boss at Starbucks.

Regarding his new role, Lopez said, “Strategically transforming companies and brands is what I love to do. And we do it by building teams, focusing on the guest experience, innovating, redefining the business model and finding growth. There are a lot of parallels between my prior position and the one at Extended Stay America, and I am thrilled to lead an organization with so much potential. Over the last four years Jim Donald set a firm foundation, with investments in people, training, buildings and systems. We are well poised to build on that foundation, and I look forward to a bright future ahead."
KC's View:
Okay, I know these two companies are a little outside my usual bailiwick...but since I know both Jim Donald and Gerry Lopez, I wanted to take advantage of the moment.

I think it is instructive that Jim went to Extended Stay as an outsider to that industry, and was able to make the clear-eyed decisions about "investments in people, training, buildings and systems" that perhaps an insider might not be able to make. And now, he's being succeeded by someone who also is an outsider, albeit one with a lot of experience in a different kind of hospitality.

Gerry Lopez has brought a high level of innovative thinking to AMC in his time there. Think about it for a moment - he was running a movie theatre chain at a time when there is unprecedented competition for the entertainment dollar, and he did it by focusing on creating a better theatre experience. He can't really control the quality of the movies ... he can only control what he can control. And he was even willing to sign a deal recently that turned a sacred cow into hamburger, reducing the amount of time between when a movie premieres in theatres and when it is available for at-home viewing.

It seems to me that this is what smart, aggressive, and talented executives do. The change, even disrupt things. They leave things better than they found them. And I thought it worth noting here.