Industry Movers


Industry Movers is a monthly roundup of individuals taking on new senior positions in the hotel industry.

April 2019


Accor Group

Robert Mellwig has been appointed chief culture officer at SBE

Robert joins from Really Cool People, where he was senior vice president, and over the past 15 years worked with Two Roads Hospitality (formerly Destination Hotels and Resorts) and their parent real estate company, Lowe. Earlier in his career, Robert worked with W Hotels, Starwood Hotels , Hilton and more than 90 hotels globally.


Stephanie Rubin has been appointed senior vice president of corporate finance at SBE

Stephanie joins sbe from Re:Sources, a Publicis Groupe company where she spent the last 17 years, and for the last five was the chief accounting officer. She has held various roles in media and digital transformation, as well as contributed at the establishment of offshore shared services centres. Her 20 years of experience encompasses roles with TBWA Worldwide, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG.


Arun Rana as Design Manager for Northern Europe

Arun will play an integral role in the design and technical services team developing new projects. He joins Accor from Philip Watts Design, an independent agency where he worked as Senior Lead Designer for eight years. He has a background in hospitality design, ranging from F&B concepts to full hotel establishments and has worked alongside Accor for several years.


Shumi Khan has been appointed director of business intelligence and revenue management – Northern Europe

Shumi brings a wealth of experience in the field of analytics from previous roles across multiple industries. Within the hospitality sector she has worked in the revenue and analytics space at JAC Travel and Expedia


Dana Lewis has been appointed director of global sales, MICE & Leisure – Northern Europe

Dana has just celebrated 19 years with Accor and has been director of global meetings, events & leisure sales based in the UK for the past 12 years. The new role will extend her remit across Northern Europe, driving the key MICE and leisure market in this territory.


Ruth Finnis has been appointed director of guest loyalty and partnerships, Northern Europe

Ruth joined the UK & Ireland Accor team in 2018 having worked in marketing and loyalty at hotel groups IHG and Warner Leisure, and at Hilton where she spent six years. Ruth began her career in the pub sector, with Greene King and Whitbread.


Arora Group

Philip Jones has been appointed group finance director

Philip joins from Harbour Hotels, where he held the position of group finance director. Philip began his career working at Ernst & Young in Dublin and London and has also held financial director positions at GLH Hotels.

At Arora, Philip will be responsible for both corporate and commercial finance operations across all business divisions, and will lead the group’s finance team alongside CFO Carlton Brown.

Bridgestreet Global Hospitality

Kamal Advani has been appointed chief executive officer

Kamal is a longstanding BridgeStreet board member and managing director of BridgeStreet’s controlling shareholder, Versa Capital Management, LLC. He brings with him an intimate understanding of the business and 30 years of operating and finance experience, leading companies to achieve sustainable and profitable growth.

Kamal succeeds Sean Worker, who will be leaving to pursue other interests.


Cristal Group

Menno De Boer has been appointed chief operating officer

A seasoned hotelier with 30 years of experience across the Middle East, Europe and Asia Pacific, Menno’s experience spans across all aspects of the hospitality industry. Menno was recently cluster general manager for Cristal in Saudi Arabia; prior to that he was hotel director for the NH Collection Barbizon Palace Amsterdam, and area general manager in Bavaria Regent Hotel Hailar China.

After obtaining his degree at the Hague Hotel Management School, Menno gained experience earlier in his career with Hilton, Oberoi Hotels and Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts.


Events Industry Board

Michael Hirst OBE has been appointed as the new chairman

Michael has served as deputy chair since the creation of the organisation in 2016. He is also chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership, serves on the Tourism Industry Council and is a director of the Tourism Alliance. He is also a director and consultant to companies in the commercial and hospitality sectors.

The Events Industry Board’s role is to advise ministers on improving the competitiveness of the UK in order to secure a greater number of high quality international events.


Jamie Cole has been appointed senior vice president of global channels  

Jamie has worked extensively across Europe, Asia and the USA, and joins IHG from Mandarin Oriental where he most recently led digital and ecommerce, delivering transformational change across digital marketing and guest experience for the luxury brand.

Prior to this, he ran a specialised consulting business serving hospitality and travel clients. He also held leadership roles at Travelport, Travelocity and Hilton Worldwide, where he developed the corporate digital strategy for the Hilton portfolio of hotels.  


Interstate Hotels & Resorts

Nicholas Northam has been appointed as its new executive vice president – international

Nick is currently managing director of Interstate’s UK operation, and will now take responsibility for all of Europe and Russia/CIS including the offices in the UK, Amsterdam and Moscow. He will also join Interstate’s Executive Committee.

Nick joined Interstate in 2016, and has a long history within the hospitality sector including 15 years in operations leadership at Whitbread operating Marriott hotels; and 10 years in asset management with Realstar Group.


Macdonald Hotels

Julian Tomlin has been appointed managing director

Julian joins from Exclusive Hotels and Venues, where he spent 18 years and was most recently general manager of Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, Surrey, and group director of operations across the company.

During his time with Exclusive, Tomin has been general manager of Lainston House, headed the group’s sales and marketing function and looked after the company’s two venues, Farnham Hall and Royal Berkshire, prior to moving to Pennyhill Park, which currently holds one Michelin star and four AA rosettes for its Latymer restaurant.


Marriott International

Margaret McCarthy has been appointed an independent director

Margaret is executive vice president at CVS Health Corporation. a leader in the company’s technology transition following its acquisition of Aetna; she will leave this position in May. She brings substantial experience in data management and security.

Margaret joined CVS Health through its acquisition of Aetna in 2018, where she had been executive vice president of operations and technology since 2010. At Aetna, she also served as the company’s CIO and head of business solutions delivery. Margaret currently serves on the board of directors of Brighthouse Financial, Inc. and First American Financial Corporation, as well as serving on various advisory boards and councils.


MGM Resorts International

Atif Rafiq has been appointed president of commercial and growth

Atif has extensive experience in rethinking and transforming global organizations, reshaping consumer behavior and delivering significant, measurable, new sources of profitability for companies. A veteran of Silicon Valley, he has 17 years of experience leading digital businesses companies including Amazon, Yahoo! and AOL.

Atif joins MGM Resorts from Volvo Cars, where he led strategic initiatives to embrace business model change through digital subscriptions, developed direct-to-consumer relationships, introduced a wave of connectivity services for cars and created partnerships with tech giants.


Millennium & Copthorne

Paola Bergamaschi Broyd will be joining M&C’s board of directors as an independent non-executive director

Paola has over 25 years of experience in the financial services sector, primarily with large global banking groups.  Most recently she was head of asset owners solutions, senior managing director, EMEA for State Street Corporation in London. Earlier, she held senior executive positions at Credit Suisse First Boston, Sanpaolo IMI S.p.A. and Goldman Sachs.  She began her corporate career at the Montedison Group in Italy as the head of investor relations.

Paola holds a number of independent non-executive director positions, at The Bank of New York Mellon (International), Wells Fargo Securities International and Arca Fondi SGR.  The M&C board is now comprised of five independent non-executive directors and the three nominated non-executive directors.


NH Hotels

Beatriz Puente has been appointed to the NH board

Beatriz is currently managing director of Finance & Administration at NH.  Prior to NH, she held senior financial roles at AENA and Vocento, having previously worked for five years at Citibank in New York, London and Madrid.


Kosin Chantikul has been appointed to the board

Kosin is senior vice president of Investment & Acquisitions at Minor Hotels, and has been with the company for six years. He was previously investment director at Boutique Asset Management, and has experience at Nomura Asia Asset Finance, and Lehman Brothers.

Maria Grecna, Paul Johnson and José María Sagardoy have resigned from the board, and with the new appointments it will now consist of nine directors: four proprietary directors, three independents and two executives.


Oetker Collection

Joelle Edwards-Tonks has been appointed senior vice president of sales, marketing and communications

Joelle joined Oetker nine years ago, working across the marketing, distribution, revenue management, sales & e-commerce and communications & digital strategy sectors. In 2018, she became a member of the Oetker Collection executive committee, reinforcing her strategic role within the company.

Joelle began her career in international communications before moving into the hospitality industry, she quickly grew into leadership roles in reservations & revenue management, sales, marketing and communications in renowned palace hotels in Paris and leading international hotel brands.


Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Guy Heywood has been appointed COO

Guy joins from Alila Hotels and Resorts, where he was COO for the past eight years. He has over 30 years of experience within the international hotel and tourism industry. Guy started his journey in Australia as the restaurant and lounge manager at InterContinental Sydney. He then moved on to The Regent Sydney, followed by Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi and Four Seasons Hotel Singapore in a similar capacity.

In 1997, Guy joined Aman Resorts as general manager of Amankila in Bali, becoming area manager for Amanresorts Indonesia and then moving to Jackson Hole, Wyoming as country manager of Amanresorts Americas and Caribbean. Following that, he moved back to Australia to take up the group general manager role of Voyages Hotels and Resorts in Cairns.



Kanika Soni has been appointed president of the hotels business unit

Kanika will oversee TripAdvisor’s hotels business, representing a substantial part of the company’s total revenue. She will be responsible for product, engineering, sales and marketing for hotels.

Kanika was most recently senior vice president, global e-commerce of the consumer products division at the Walt Disney Company. Prior to Disney, she led the Online and Global Digital Marketing teams at Tesla Motors where she helped launch the Model 3. She has also had successful leadership roles at both Gilt Groupe and McKinsey & Company.