Industry Movers


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

March 2019


Philip Gardner has been appointed commercial director of the hotel management platform

Philip has joined from IHG, where he was latterly vice president of the revenue management team in Europe. Before that, he was involved in the planning and deployment of IHG Europe’s marketing funds. He has also held a number of commercial roles, including the creation of the London Marriott revenue management cluster. In his new role, Philip will oversee Aprirose’s sales, marketing and revenue disciplines.

Arora Group

Sanjay Arora has been appointed group strategy director

This is an internal move for Sanjay, who previously held the position of director, overseeing all new acquisitions and hotel developments for the group. He began his career in corporate finance at KPMG in 2013. He holds an MBA from Regents Business School in London and a degree in business management from Royal Holloway, University of London.

In his new role, Sanjay will focus on setting the vision and wider strategic initiatives for the group and driving communication throughout the business, alongside the founder and chairman, Surinder Arora, and CFO Carlton Brown.

Choice Hotels International

Sireesha Kunduri has been appointed vice president of engineering for distribution & revenue management 

Sireesha has been a key member of Choice’s engineering team since 2016, most recently serving as senior director of engineering. Prior to her work at Choice, she held several leadership positions at GoDaddy, including director of software development, where she oversaw the company’s website, proprietary call center applications, and internal ticketing systems.

Sireesha has a degree and and masters in computer science from Andhra University and the University of Houston, respectively.

Cycas Hospitality

Matt Luscombe has been appointed CEO

Matt brings nearly 20 years of hospitality and consumer experience, including ten with InterContinental Hotels Group. He joins Cycas from Coles Group, one of Australia’s leading retailers, where he was general manager.

Most recently at IHG, Matt was chief commercial officer for Europe. Prior to that he spent five years heading up IHG’s franchise business across Europe and Africa, working with Cycas Hospitality on projects including a dual-branded property in London Stratford City.


Bonnie Calnan has been appointed a partner in the London real estate team

Bonnie joins from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, and brings experience in a broad range of corporate real estate and multi-jurisdictional transactions, including structured disposals and acquisitions, joint ventures and financings in both the investment and development sectors.

EVENT Hotels

Gabriel Petersen has been appointed managing director

Gabriel has spent the last 25 years in the hospitality and hotel real estate industry – overseeing the Blackstone Real Estate hotel portfolio in Europe during the last decade. At university he studied economics, and he has an MSc in real estate. In addition to his new role, he will also become a member of the executive board.


Heather Laverne has been appointed vice president – customer engagement, loyalty and partnerships for EMEA

Canadian-born Heather joins from American Express where she served in leadership roles for more than 13 years, most recently as vice president, international premium products.

Heather began her career at Viacom’s Famous Players, before joining Algorithmics Incorporated, where she was marketing manager for four years. She completed her undergraduate studies in marketing from the University of Guelph and earned her MBA from Queen’s School of Business.

InterContinental Hotels Group

Willemijn Geels has been promoted to vice president of Development, Europe

Willemijn brings to the role 20 years of experience, and has been with IHG since 2005. Prior to joining IHG, Willemijn was Development & Acquisitions Director for Europe at Louvre Hotels Group. She also gained experience in Deloitte’s Transport, Hospitality and Leisure team in Paris.

Willemijn, who is fluent in five European languages and has an MBA in international hospitality management, will remain based in IHG’s Paris office.


Gary Hosie has been appointed director and project management lead for the hotel sector

Gary has thirty years of experience in the commercial, hotel and hospitality industries, managing large-scale development, design and capital construction projects. He joins from Interstate Hotels & Resorts where he was vice president of property.

Gary has worked on high-profile projects for Hard Rock, IHG, Marriott, Starwood, Wyndham, Hilton & Accor. Previously, he spent eight years as a property director in the hotels and casinos division for Aspers Management Services.

KRO Hospitality

Damien Le-Hoste has been appointed operations director

Damien previously worked for RBH Hospitality Management, for over eight years.

Natasha Lindsay has been appointed group director of sales and marketing

Natasha joins from Bespoke Hotels Group.

Marriott International

Gianleo Bosticco has been appointed senior director of development for Italy

Gianleo was born into a family of hoteliers and grew up in a ski resort in the Italian Alps. Following time in the family business, he joined JLL Hotels in Milan where he was responsible valuation assignments, market analysis, feasibility studies and negotiation of operating agreements for projects across Italy.

He subsequently worked in JLL’s London and Paris offices, before joining Melia as development director for southern Europe. In 2015, he moved to a development role at the Rezidor Hotel Group.

MGM Resorts International

Corey Sanders has been appointed chief financial officer

Corey was previously chief operating officer at the group, and prior to this was executive vice president and CFO of MGM Grand Resorts, and EVP and CFO of MGM Grand Las Vegas. Prior to those responsibilities, he held roles in corporate finance and tax for MGM Grand.


Bill Hornbuckle has been appointed chief operating officer

Bill will retain his existing role as president, overseeing operations at all enterprise properties and will lead casino marketing, design and development, human resources and entertainment.

PSD Group

Simon Tucker-Brown has been appointed managing director 

Simon has more than 20 years of executive search experience, and for the last four years was managing director of EME for HVS Executive Search. Prior to this Simon was head of Berkeley Scott’s executive search practice before taking over as managing director.

Earlier in his career, Simon worked at Portfolio, which PSD acquired in 2004. He began his career working directly in hotels, and was general manager at UK country house group Arcadian Hotels.

Yoo Hotels & Resorts

David Grossniklaus has been appointed head of operations and development

David joins with 18 years of hospitality sector experience. He was most recently with Belmond, where he was senior development director for the Middle East, Africa and India. He previously worked across the same region for Starwood Hotels, having gained prior experience with Deloitte/STR Global, Swissotel and Istithmar/Nakheel.

A Swiss national, David is fluent in French and English, and will be based in Yoo’s London office. He is a graduate of Ecole Hoteliere in Lausanne, and has an MBA from Cass Business School.