We know what you're all thinking: Can Onefinestay be saved? Was AccorHotels' decision to buy a private rental business the right move? Or should it have partnered with one instead?
Cedillo-Espin told Skift he left Onefinestay primarily because he is “always looking for the next innovative concept” and that he “felt ready to pursue a more entrepreneurial path and help grow a business at this stage.”
Sweet Inn founder and former CEO Paul Besnainou will assume the role of executive chairman and key advisor to the CEO, effective immediately.
Cedillo-Espin was appointed CEO of Onefinestay in February 2017 following the departure of co-founder Evan Frank. During his tenure at Onefinestay, the luxury private rental platform grew from having 2,000 homes in 12 markets to have more than 10,000 in 200 destinations worldwide, thanks in large part to AccorHotels’ acquisitions of Travel Keys and Squarebreak, two other alternative accommodations brands.
Prior to his CEO role at Onefinestay, Cedillo-Espin served as chief integration officer during AccorHotels’ acquisition of Fairmont Raffles International, and was a long-time executive at Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Sweet Inn’s homesharing business model involves taking long-term leases and offering fully serviced apartment, and it comprises more than 500 apartments in 11 cities worldwide, primarily in Europe and Israel.
“I’m excited to join Sweet Inn at a crucial stage of growth for the company,” Cedillo-Espin said, noting that he wants to continue to expand the brand globally.
What This Means for Onefinestay
Onefinestay has struggled in recent years. AccorHotels purchased it in 2016 for $168 million but has since faced challenges in making the business unit profitable.
In 2016, Onefinestay reported a loss of $37.3 million. Earlier this year, AccorHotels wrote off $288 million from its investments in both Onefinestay and concierge service John Paul.
Onefinestay has also seen a number of CEO changes just within the last two years. The first was when co-founder and CEO Greg Marsh left in September 2016, just months after AccorHotels acquired the company. His successor, co-founder Evan Frank, left Onefinestay in September 2017.
Now that Cedillo-Espin has deparated Onefinestay, AccorHotels has appointed Thomas Girard as the new CEO of Onefinestay. Girard was formerly a member of the AccorHotels New Business leadership team. According to his LinkedIn profile, Girard was named CEO of Onefinestay in July 2018.
Judging from AccorHotels’ most recent third quarter earnings call with analysts, however, it seems clear that the company isn’t about to give up on its foray into the private accommodations space.
“Our strategy has not changed,” AccorHotels deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer Jean-Jacques Morin said. “We want to do that with private rental. We want to move ahead with John Paul. And at this stage, it’s too early to tell you what our solution is, but that’s what they would say at that point. The other thing that I would like to highlight, as you know, is that despite being small numbers, this is important for us.”
Photo credit: Former Onefinestay CEO Javier Cedillo-Espin has left AccorHotels' luxury private rental business to become CEO of serviced apartment platform Sweet Inn. Onefinestay