Hsiao Steps Down as Holiday CEO

The nation’s largest independent living provider has a new CEO.

Holiday Retirement CEO Kai Hsiao is stepping down from that role and becoming vice chairman, citing personal health matters. Lilly Donohue has been named the new chief executive officer, effective immediately, the Lake Oswego, Oregon-based company announced Tuesday.

“I am confident that Holiday is well positioned to continue to successfully serve the needs of its residents and to fulfill its strategic corporate goals,” Hsiao said in a press release. He pledged to work toward a “seamless transition.”

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Hsiao joined Holiday in 2008 and become president in 2012. He assumed the CEO role in June 2013, after predecessor Edward Lange Jr. resigned just two months after stepping into the position.

Hsiao brought expertise from other industries to Holiday—prior to joining the company, he was director of real estate marketing for Canyon Ranch, a resort spa. He began his career with advertising agency Chiat/Day, owned his own agency, and also worked for ad agency Cramer-Krasselt and real estate investment trust Macerich.

In announcing Hsiao’s transition, Holiday touted how he drew on his background in hospitality and other industries to update corporate infrastructure—for instance, implementing senior housing’s first automated revenue management system. Holiday also has embraced dynamic pricing, which Hsiao recently discussed at the 2015 Senior Housing News Summit.

He also was an outspoken proponent of senior housing drawing from the international labor force, and emphasized how Holiday has taken steps to create a potential pipeline of overseas workers. One way of doing so was through a relationship with Starcastle, a Chinese senior living community in Shanghai, which was co-founded by Chinese investment firm Fosun Group and U.S.-based Fortress Investment Group (NYSE: FIG), which owns Holiday.

Holiday’s new CEO, Donohue, served as CEO of Starcastle, as well as president of Fortress Investment Consulting China. She joined Fortress in 1998, after working in structured finance and commercial loans at UBS, according to Bloomberg. Her career began at BlackRock Financial Management.

“I am honored to join the Holiday team as CEO,” Donohue stated in a press release. “I look forward to building upon the exceptional accomplishments of Kai and his team, as well as my own experiences in senior housing and private equity.”

With more than 300 communities, Holiday is the country’s second-largest senior housing operator overall.

Also on Tuesday, it was announced that Shamim Wu, Holiday’s executive vice president of sales, will become president and COO of Silverado Care, effective Jan. 18.

Written by Tim Mullaney

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