Establishing a strong start to 2020, Rotana, one of the leading hotel management companies in the region with hotels across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Turkey, announced that Guy Hutchinson, Acting Chief Executive Officer, has been promoted to serve as the permanent President & CEO to lead the company’s next phase of growth.
Hutchinson has held the position of Acting CEO since January 2019, when the previous President and CEO stepped down from the role. With 30 years of experience working in the hospitality industry, the seasoned executive joined Rotana as Chief Operating Officer in January 2014. Previously, he served various roles with Hilton Worldwide in markets as diverse as Japan, Australia, China, India and the UAE.
Under the leadership of Hutchinson, Rotana has reached new milestones that bolstered its preeminent position in the industry. The company sustained revenue growth, deepened its presence in the region and globally, enhanced product offering and strengthened commercial efforts and partnerships during last year.
Commenting on this development, Nasser Al Nowais, Chairman of Rotana, said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to congratulate Guy Hutchinson on his promotion to President & CEO. Leveraging his extensive industry experience, as well as his progressive and dynamic leadership skills, he led the team at Rotana to deliver a remarkable year in 2019 despite challenging market conditions. I am confident that Rotana will continue to go from strength to strength under his tenure, as we continue to push ahead with our vision to be one of the leading hospitality management companies globally.”
On confirmation of the new role, Guy Hutchinson, President & CEO, Rotana, said: “I feel honoured to have been given this opportunity. It is truly exciting to work alongside such a talented and dedicated team, and together we look forward to leading Rotana’s next phase of growth. Certainly exploring new avenues to deliver added value to our guests, partners and stakeholders will remain our top priority, and we will strive to realise the company’s ambitious objectives while continuing to uphold the values and high standards for which Rotana is so well known.”
During 2019, Rotana further developed its global footprint by bringing the Company’s signature hospitality to new markets. In February, the hotel operator took over management of Baghdad’s famed Babylon Hotel, now named the Babylon Rotana Baghdad, and in August an agreement was signed to operate the iconic Palmeraie Resorts in Morocco’s major economic centre Marrakech, with rebranding complete in Q1 2020. Outside the Middle East and North Africa region, Rotana opened the Bosmal Arjaan by Rotana in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo in August, making its first foray into Southeast Europe, and in October, the company opened the Johari Rotana in Tanzania’s key commercial city of Dar es Salaam, which marked the brand’s enrty into the East African market.
The introduction of a franchise model has also been another key achievement of Hutchinson, to further support Rotana’s business diversification strategies. The company has successfully completed five franchise agreements in 2019.
Similarly, Rotana has continued to strengthen its commercial delivery under Hutchinson’s leadership, by expanding its network of Global Sales Offices (GSOs). The company opened new offices in Paris, Milan, Turkey, and Amsterdam to drive business from these key feeder markets. Furthermore, Rotana also sharpened its focus on investment in technology and innovation last year to enhance guest convenience and comfort at its hotels, as well as intensify commercial delivery across digital platforms. Significantly the Company implemented a new Central Reservations System (CRS) to improve technical, functional and service support as well as improved performance and offerings.