Gerry Lopez is leaving the exhibition business for the hospitality industry, having scored a job as CEO of Extended Stay America.
The former AMC Theatres CEO and president announced he was resigning from the country’s second largest theater chain on Tuesday. Lopez will get a salary hike as part of the move, reportedly earning a base pay of $1 million and a bonus of $400,000 or higher, along with stock options and awards. At AMC, he received $930,222 in salary, but his earnings package climbed to roughly $5 million last year when stock awards and bonuses were taken into account.
AMC has formed a search committee to find a replacement for Lopez. CFO Craig Ramsey will lead the company on an interim basis.
Lopez was credited with launching AMC’s ambitious reseating initiative, which replaced old movie theater chairs with fewer, larger recliners that command higher ticket prices. A similar push was instituted by rival theater chains like Regal and Cinemark.
Earlier this month, Lopez was part of a controversial move by AMC to partner with Paramount Pictures on a plan that could potentially shrink home entertainment release windows by allowing the studio to release two horror films early digitally.
Prior to joining AMC, Lopez served as EVP of Starbucks Coffee Company and president of its global consumer products, Seattle’s Best Coffee and food service divisions.