Kempinski changes management structure

Kempinski Hotels has announced last week its new management structure with which Europe's oldest luxury hotel group wishes to start a new chapter. The supervisory board approved CEO Markus Semer's suggestions last week. Bernold O. Schroeder, until recently CEO of the Asian Pan Pacific Hotels, will be a new well-known reinforcement. COO Marcus van der Wal is leaving the company.

The Supervisory Board of Kempinski recently approved this new Management Board structure, which was initiated and proposed by Markus Semer following a critical review of the organisation. Semer said: "The new executive team structure at Kempinski reinforces hotel operations at the highest levels of management and improves our agility to drive forward our agenda, with a flexible organisation suited to our size and strategic priorities."

The idea of expanding the group's senior executive team and giving it more responsibility, is also connected to the new, long-term plans Markus Semer has defined in the past few weeks in collaboration with the group's two shareholders. As reported, the holdings of the two main shareholders changed in February: The Crowne Property Bureau (CPB) from Bangkok, until then the majority shareholder with 86 percent, retained 30 percent of the shares. In return, the shareholders from Bahrain, which are supported by the reigning family of the Arab emirate, increased their shares from 14 to 70 percent.

Members of the new Kempinski Management Board include:

Markus Semer, Chairman of the Management Board & Chief Executive Officer (since 31 March 2016)

Colin Lubbe, Member of the Management Board & Chief Financial Officer (joined Kempinski in 2009 as CFO)

Bernold Schroeder, Member of the Management Board & Chief Operating Officer Europe (formerly CEO of Pan Pacific Hotels and Jin Jiang)

Michael Henssler, Member of the Management Board & Chief Operating Officer Asia (joined Kempinski in 1998, since 2010 President China)

Henk Meyknecht, Member of the Management Board & Chief Operating Officer Middle East & Africa (joined Kempinski in 2012, since 2016 Senior Vice President Middle East & Africa)

Xavier Destribats, Member of the Management Board & Chief Operating Officer The Americas (joined Kempinski in 2011, since 2017 Senior Vice President The Americas)

Amanda Elder, Member of the Management Board & Senior Vice President Business Development (joined Kempinski in 2016 in this position; worked with the company before in 2014 as Vice President Sales & Marketing China, then intermezzo with Fairmont)

Mike Haemmerli, Member of the Management Board & Senior Vice President Development (joined Kempinski in 2000, since 2008 Senior Vice President Development)

Marina Zapp, Member of the Management Board & Senior Vice President Human Resources (joined Kempinski in 2015 as Senior Vice President HR, coming from TUI Group)

Markus Semer said: "As we move now into the future with the leadership of this committed executive team, we have all the ingredients to ensure that Kempinski continues to evolve with our guests and set new standards in luxury hospitality for many years to come", and getting more precise towards "With the new structure, we are closer to the hotels and operations in the corresponding markets, and are able to act more quickly and flexibly. As a result, the former position of a sole COO is now superfluous."

Van der Wal leaving, Schroeder coming in

Marcus van der Wal

The new Management Board, and related structural changes, came subsequent to the decision of former Chief Operating Officer, Marcus van der Wal, to leave the company after 19 years. Van der Wal reported to that his decision was based solely on private reasons.

Starting with the company he managed Kempinski Hotels in Beijing, Tanzania, Budapest and Munich, through to his tenure as SVP Europe, and his most recent role as COO. Commenting on his departure, CEO Markus Semer said: "Marcus is a highly-respected hotelier, in the whole industry. While we are disappointed to see him go, we respect his decision to find better balance in his life and I would like to sincerely thank Marcus for his significant contributions to Kempinski throughout his career."

Bernold Schroeder

In return, Markus Semer is satisfied that Bernold O. Schroeder is returning to Europe after two CEO positions in Asia. Schroeder is formally appointed as of 1 May 2017 as a Member of the Management Board of Kempinski AG; Executive Director on the Board of Kempinski Hotels SA; a Member of the Management Board of Kempinski Hotels SA; and Chief Operating Officer Europe. In his role as COO Europe, Schroeder will oversee the portfolio in Europe, the original home market of Kempinski.

Commenting on this appointment, Markus Semer said: "We are delighted to welcome such a well-respected industry leader to the Management Board of Kempinski. Today there are very few senior executives in the industry who remain true hoteliers at heart and we are privileged to bring Bernold's high calibre of leadership and luxury hotel operations and asset management know-how to Kempinski."

Schroeder is an industry veteran with more than 30 years in the global hotel industry. He joins Kempinski from his most recent roles as CEO of the Singapore-based hotel owner, Pan Pacific Hotels Group and CEO of Shanghai-based Jin Jiang International. Prior to this, he held senior management positions with Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Corporation.

Kempinski currently manages and operates 75 five-star hotels and residences and is celebrating its 120th birthday in these days.

Source: HospitalityInside

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