Leslie Danford named new regional head, Midwest of hotel startup

OYO Hotels & Homes, a fast-growing hotel startup, has appointed Leslie Danford as its Midwest regional head. Based in Chicago, Danford brings more than 12 years of experience to OYO and she will be focused on building and strengthening the firm’s operations across 10 states: Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

Prior to OYO, Danford spent close to four years at Beam Suntory where she led national brand planning and collaboration with regional teams on local strategic planning and execution, as well as a number of cross-portfolio optimization and growth initiatives. She also played an instrumental role in building the U.S. e-commerce channel and team at Beam. Before that, Danford led global cross-functional strategy projects as a principal at Bain & Company. She graduated from the University of Chicago and completed her MBA at Harvard University.

Danford will work closely with Abhinav Sinha, global chief operating officer, and partner, OYO U.S.A. and the leadership team in the U.S. With a $300 million investment earmarked in the U.S. over the next few years, OYO Hotels & Homes is deeply committed to delivering value-chic hospitality experiences to customers at a unique price point. As the world’s third-largest hotel chain, OYO is using technology, business expertise and talent to create beautifully designed and comfortable living spaces by working in proximity with real estate owners in the U.S. to transform their hotels and offer good, quality customer experience. With this strong leadership at the helm, the company is opening one building per day, on average, and has already created more than 3,600 jobs.

‘’At OYO Hotels, we are ardent believers in perseverance and hard work,” Sinha said. “Our expansion and growth story are supported by the efforts of over 17,000 OYOpreneurs (employees) across the globe and we are positive that Leslie’s experience in driving cross-functional collaboration with a strong focus on operational efficiencies will help OYO chart the next phase of its growth in the US. I am delighted to welcome her to the OYO family.”