Billings-based Kampgrounds of America announced Wednesday that CEO Jim Rogers will step down Friday and be replaced by current President Pat Hittmeier.
Rogers has served as top executive for 15 years for the privately held KOA, the nation’s largest outdoor campground company.
Rogers will remain a board member of KOAH Inc., KOA’s parent company.
Rogers came to KOA in 2000 from Nevada, where he had a long tenure with Harrah’s Entertainment. He will continue to consult on special projects for the company.
“In Jim’s tenure, he has transitioned KOA into a dynamic and progressive company and built a foundation of customer service that has elevated KOA to a premier position in the camping marketplace. His ebullient personality and organizational strategy have built a corporate culture that will be to KOA’s benefit for many years,” Oscar Tang, chairman of KOAH, said in statement.
In 2013, Rogers took a turn in the national spotlight when he appeared on the CBS reality television program, “Undercover Boss.” In the show, Rogers went undercover and met with the owners of a KOA franchise in Arizona.
Hittmeier, who will also serve on the parent company’s board, has worked at KOA 34 years and led key departments, according to the company.
He was the head of KOA’s franchisee services department, served as vice president of the company’s system development division and was involved in the development of several new campgrounds.
Hittmeier was named chief operating officer of KOA in 2009 and promoted to president in 2010.
“Pat has done an outstanding job as KOA’s president, leading the company to achieve record financial and quality results for the past five years. Pat’s many years of experience and success will ensure a seamless succession for KOA staff and its franchise system as he takes on his new position as chief executive at KOA,” Tang said in the statement.
KOA was founded 52 years ago in Billings. The company maintains its headquarters in the TransWestern Plaza in downtown Billings. Its brand is on a a campground at 547 Garden Ave. on the banks of the Yellowstone River, which is owned by the Linde family.
Editor's note (Dec. 31): A previous version of this story misstated the ownership of the Billings campground. This version is correct.