The hotel franchising company most outspoken against online travel agency pressure—the one that refused to sign over last-room availability and consequently had its inventory removed from for a short time in late 2009—has recruited airline-industry veteran Robert McDowell and appointed him senior VP of global distribution, where he will oversee all channel-partner relationships. McDowell, most recently responsible for the distribution strategy at United Airlines, will be responsible for the development and execution of Choice's global, multichannel marketing and distribution strategy. He will lead all direct distribution channels, revenue management, global sales and marketing channels and e-commerce. The opportunity to join Choice appealed to him because of the franchisor’s “aggressive stance in terms of distribution.” Get the full story at