Lamar Advertising Co. has appointed Jay Johnson as chief financial officer, succeeding Keith Istre who announced in January his plan to retire from Lamar on Dec. 31.

Johnson's appointment is effective Oct. 1, when Istre will become CFO emeritus and assist in Johnson's transition. Johnson, 42, has served since April 2018 as executive vice president and chief financial officer of DiamondRock Hospitality Co., a lodging real estate investment trust. Johnson previously was senior vice president and treasurer at Host Hotels & Resorts, an S&P 500 company, where he completed more than $14 billion in debt and equity capital transactions in 12 countries.

“Jay’s experience as a public company CFO, familiarity with the capital markets and real estate investors, and energy and strategic perspective make him a great fit for us,” said Sean Reilly, Lamar’s chief executive officer. 

Lamar, a Baton Rouge-based outdoor advertising and logo sign displays company, operates as real estate investment trust. REIT's don't pay income taxes on profits as long as 90 percent go to shareholders through dividends.

Johnson, a native of Bastrop, received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree in economics from Morehouse College.