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Hospitality: 2023 C-suite Movement & Trends

Following a rather stable year for C-suite movement in hospitality in 2022, there was considerably more activity this year. We have analysed and examined 35 key appointments – and while many were representative of senior candidates we typically see in the sector, there were nonetheless a number of interesting new hiring trends.  


Read on for our insights on a fascinating year!



GENDER DIVERSITY

Gender diversity has noticeably come to the fore across the industry. This follows what was arguably Jumeirah’s most notable appointment in late 2022, when they made Katerina Giannouka their new CEO. Accor, Marriott, IHG, Dorchester Collection, and Rosewood Hotel Group all followed suit by appointing female leaders in C-suite positions in 2023, with a focus on commercial roles.


I am extremely pleased to be joining Accor which I have long admired as a global innovator in the hospitality industry. I look forward to applying my global hospitality, real estate and capital markets experience and insight to drive forward the group strategy and deliver against the management’s inspiring vision for the company. Gilda Perez-Alvarado Formerly Global Chief Executive Officer JLL Hotels & Hospitality at JLL Newly Group Chief Strategy Officer at Accor and Chief Executive Officer Orient Express


INTERNAL PROMOTION VS. EXTERNAL RECRUITMENT

In hospitality, internal promotions typically outnumber external recruitment by a considerable margin. In 2023, however, companies increasingly valued fresh sets of eyes when it came to directing business towards the future – 43% of C-suite appointments came from external hires. This contrasts with 2022, where organisations favoured familiarity amid a turbulent market. Some notable external movers include Omer Acar, CEO for Raffles & Fairmont, joining from Katara Hospitality, and Ben Trodd, COO at AMAN, who joined from Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.  


Joining Minor Hotels as Global CCO marks a strategic step in my career. It’s an opportunity to harness my expertise in driving growth and innovation at a dynamic global scale. Minor Hotels’ commitment to excellence, entrepreneurship, and accountability aligns with my professional ethos, offering a platform for total value creation in hospitality from revenue optimization all the way to asset value maximization. It’s exciting to have all the puzzle pieces at hand. Ian Di Tullio Formerly Chief Commercial Officer Europe & North Africa at Accor Newly Chief Commercial Officer at Minor Hotels


INSIDE VS. OUTSIDE INDUSTRY

In recent years, new blood has been increasingly favoured in the hotel sector, with organisations looking outside for fresh talent. Although the majority of C-suite candidates (88%) in 2023 still came from within the industry, we’ve seen some notable external hires in the hotel sector in 2023. For example, Mandarin Oriental CEO Laurent Kleitman joined from Parfums Christian Dior, while Dr. Joerg Zobel became COO at Rosewood Hotel Group, joining from Eschenbach Optik.


After four years at Parfums Christian Dior LVMH, I am proud to join today Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group as Group Chief Executive. I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue to grow our Brand, making it always more desirable and drive the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s reputation as an innovative leader in luxury hospitality, delivering sustainable growth and value over the long term. Laurent Kleitman Formerly President and Chief Executive Officer at Parfums Christian Dior Newly Chief Executive Officer at Mandarin Oriental


If recent years are any indication – and if history repeats itself following a crisis like the pandemic – we are expecting considerable turnover in C-suite positions in coming years. With growth forecasted to continue for the hospitality industry, along with internal transformations and consistent demand, brands will seek to thrive rather than just survive, ensuring all stakeholders are satisfied.  


If you are looking to discuss executive search, thinking of making changes within senior leadership, or looking for your next career opportunity, please don't hesitate to reach out. We possess a global network and are highly skilled at conducting talent and DEI market mapping, compensation benchmarking, and leadership assessment mandates.





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