AccorHotels appointed Mark Willis as CEO, AccorHotels Middle East and Africa. Based in Dubai, Willis will be responsible for overseeing a combined network of close to 400 hotels in operation and pipeline across the Middle East and Africa. Olivier Granet embarks on a new project to drive sustainable development in Africa with AccorHotels.
Previous to this role, Willis was the president for the Asia region with Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, a very dynamic area with a robust expansion strategy to open 30 properties in by 2020. Over the span of 20 years, his career has also taken him on a journey into a number of senior leadership roles within the Radisson Hotel Group (formerly Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group), including Regional Director for the United Kingdom, Area Vice President, Middle East & Sub Sahara Africa and Senior Vice President Middle East, Africa & Turkey. It was in this last role with the Radisson Hotel Group, that Willis oversaw all brands within a portfolio of 85 hotels with over 80 hotels in the development pipeline.
Willis joins the group during a time when the Middle East and Africa region has experienced significant growth, opening on average two hotels every month and reaching milestones from guest satisfaction, reputation management to positive employee engagement. AccorHotels has also grown its economy and midscale portfolio of hotels, reinforced its luxury presence in the region and has debuted lifestyle brands in the Middle East for the very first time, with projects including Mama Shelter, 25H Hotels and SO/.
With over 30 years of hospitality experience, Willis will be tasked with driving operational excellence through top line performance, quality and guest satisfaction as well as fueling the region’s growth by nurturing a talent pool to reach 50,000 employees by 2021.
“Mark has demonstrated exceptional leadership in operational, commercial and strategic areas and understands the travel and hospitality industry intuitively. His guest centric approach combined with a deep understanding of the Middle East and Africa will be invaluable as we continue delivering cherished experiences for our guests and demonstrable returns for our valued partners,” said Chris Cahill, deputy chief executive officer, AccorHotels.
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