CFO Halkyard leaving NV Energy to take post with lodging chain

NV Energy announced Tuesday that Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Halkyard is leaving the utility company to become chief operating officer of a nationwide lodging chain.

In addition, NV Energy named Kevin Bethel, the company’s chief accounting officer, as CFO. The transition will take place Sept. 16.

Halkyard is joining Charlotte, N.C.-based Extended Stay America at the end of the month as the COO for hotel operations. Prior to joining NV Energy in May 2012, Halkyard served as that CFO for Caesars Entertainment Corp. He spent 13 years with the hotel-casino operator in various management positions.

NV Energy is being purchased by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. for $10 billion. The transaction, which was announced May 29, is expected close early next year.

Halkyard said a year ago he left Caesars for the opportunity to learn about a new industry. He said Tuesday the departure was amicable and was not related to NV Energy’s purchase by Mid American. The opportunity to become a COO - essentially the No. 2 person in the company - was the drawing point to the job.

“It’s a large company in the hospitality sector although it’s a little different from where I came from,” Halkyard said. “I do have a lot of relevant experience.”

Extended Stay America and NV Energy announced Halkyard’s move separately, but within minutes of each other.

Extended Stay America has 684 properties across the U.S. and Canada, including four in Las Vegas and one in Reno. The company has 85 properties in California.

Halkyard said the privately held company has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a potential public stock offering in the future.

Extend Stay America CEO Jim Donald said in a statement that Halkyard brings extensive hospitality experience to the lodging chain, along with backgrounds in finance and operations.

“As we continue to refresh and energize this leading hospitality brand, Jonathan’s background and experience will be invaluable in that process,” Donald said.

In a statement, NV Energy CEO Michael Yackira said he expects a smooth transition to Bethel, 49, who has been with NV Energy since 2007.

“Although Jonathan was with NV Energy only a short time, we appreciate his many contributions and wish him well in his endeavors,” Yackira said in a statement.

The company’s buyout in which MidAmerican is acquiring all outstanding shares of NV Energy’s common stock for $23.75 a share, still needs approval from Nevada Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. NV Energy shareholders are expected to vote on the buyout on Sept. 25.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.