Leadership and the Global Recession: Lessons from Seven Hotel Company CEOs

It is just over a year since Lehman Brothers collapsed marking the start of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Even though in some markets we are starting to see signs of recovery, no one really knows when we will be definitively out of this crisis. What we do know, is that leadership is more important today than ever before and that organisations that are well-led have a much better chance of surviving these turbulent times. We conducted a series of interviews with seven CEOs of major hotel companies in order to find out more about the leadership lessons they have learnt from the current recession, and also in previous crises they faced during their careers. We were also interested in learning the key challenges they faced over the last year and the difficulties in implementing change in their organisations. We spoke to:
  • Stephen Alden, CEO Maybourne Hotel Group
  • Simon Cooper, President & COO Ritz Carlton Hotels
  • Frank Fiskers, President & CEO Scandic Hotels & Resorts
  • Raul Gonzalez, CEO EMEA Barcelo Hotels & Resorts
  • Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman Jumeirah Group
  • Jean Gabriel Peres, President & CEO Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
  • Roeland Vos, President EMEA Starwood Hotels & Resorts
From these interviews, the key leadership lessons learnt were:
  • Face reality and implement the right measures incredibly fast
  • Anticipate and continuously re-think the business model
  • Keep the long-term perspective and do not panic
  • The leader must communicate and be visible
  • Surround yourself with strong leaders and look after your revenue generators
  • Adapt your product to the new market reality
  • Use common sense and do not follow the herd
To read the complete interviews, please click here.