La Quinta Holdings Inc. tumbled after its longtime chief executive officer resigned and the hotel chain cut its 2015 growth forecast.

The company after the market closed Thursday said that weaker-than-expected demand for hotel rooms in the past two months pointed to slower earnings growth this year. La Quinta also said CEO Wayne Goldberg, who’s been with the Irving, Texas-based company for 15 years and was in the head role since 2006, stepped down. Chief Financial Officer Keith Cline was appointed to fill the role in the interim.

The stock slid more than 15 percent to $16.11 at 3 p.m. New York time Friday, after dropping as much as 17 percent. It was the biggest decline since Blackstone Group LP took the company public in April 2014. The private equity firm remains La Quinta’s biggest shareholder, with about a 27 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

La Quinta said 2015 revenue per available room, a performance measure for hotel operators that incorporates rates and occupancies, would grow 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent, lower than the range of 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent in its prior forecast.

“La Quinta has an exceptionally strong and experienced management team in place to continue the company’s robust franchise growth, deliver the outstanding experiences its guests have come to expect and drive shareholder value,” Chairman Mitesh Shah said in Thursday’s statement.

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Tags: ceos, la quinta
Photo Credit: Wayne Goldberg, La Quinta CEO, resigned his post. He's pictured above in a 2011 photo. Ernst & Young