The Rezidor Hotel Group today announced the appointment of Olivier Harnisch (45) as Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. Harnisch will succeed Wolfgang M. Neumann who is taking over from Kurt Ritter as the company’s new President & CEO. Harnisch currently serves as Vice President, Northern and Central Europe at Hilton Worldwide. In his new role he will be based at Rezidor’s corporate support office in Brussels, Belgium and report directly to Wolfgang M. Neumann. He will also be a member of the group’s Executive Committee.
Harnisch will head Rezidor’s optimized, decentralized operational organization comprising the areas Nordics, Eastern Europe & Russia, Western Europe & North Africa, Central Europe, UK & Ireland, and Middle East & sub-Saharan Africa under the leadership of Area Vice Presidents. Across all these territories Rezidor’s portfolio of hotels in operation currently features 335 properties with 73,184 rooms.
“With Olivier Harnisch we welcome an internationally experienced hotelier to Rezidor. His excellent knowledge of operations and corporate management will further drive our strong development as a valuable member of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. He will also further strengthen our operational performance focused on revenue generation, increased profitability and operational leadership development in line with our core strategy Route 2015”, said Wolfgang M. Neumann, Rezidor’s incoming President & CEO. Through Route 2015 – a comprehensive programme launched in December last year – Rezidor aims to increase its EBITDA margin by 6 to 8 percent by 2015. The strategy concentrates on revenue generation including: global strategic partnership activities with Carlson, cost-saving initiatives, accelerated asset management, and further growth of the fee-based hotel portfolio especially in the emerging markets of Russia/CIS and Africa.
Olivier Harnisch said: “I am delighted to join such a dynamic and ambitious company as Rezidor. With its wonderful heritage, strong brands and its unique spirit, Rezidor has great assets to build upon. I look forward to contributing to its enduring success.”
Harnisch, who has both German and French nationality, holds a Master of Science in Organizational Behaviour of University of London; a Master of Business Administration of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh; and a Degree in Hospitality Management of Berlin School of Hotel Administration. He attended further senior management courses at New York University, USA; Cornell University, Ithaca, USA; and University of Hagen, Germany.
He began his career within the hospitality business as Room Service Supervisor at Hotel Sofitel Nice and as Commis de Restaurant at Hotel Negresco in Nice. Harnisch then held several operational positions in flagships such as St. Regis New York and Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich. He joined Hilton in March 1999 as Director of Operations at Hilton Dresden. He afterwards served as General Manager of Hilton Madagascar and Hilton Zurich & Hilton Apart Hotel; and was promoted to Cluster General Manager of Hilton Munich Park & Hilton Munich City. In February 2008 he took over the corporate position as Vice President, Northern and Central Europe at Hilton Worldwide where he was in charge of 32 properties in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Scandinavia.
Besides his mother tongues German and French Harnisch speaks English, Spanish, Italian, and Indonesian/Malay. He is married and has two children. Harnisch does not only have a passion for hotels, but also for airplanes: he holds a US pilot license.
For further information please contact:
Christiane Reiter, Senior Director Corporate Communication, Christiane.Reiter@Rezidor.com
Renu Snehi, Senior Director Corporate Communication, Renu.Snehi@Rezidor.com
About the Rezidor Hotel Group
The Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the fastest growing hotel companies worldwide and a member of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s ten largest hotel groups. Rezidor features a portfolio of more than 430 hotels in operation and under development with 95,000 rooms in 70 countries. Rezidor operates the brands Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, along with the Club Carlson loyalty programme for frequent hotel guests. Under a worldwide licence agreement with the iconic Italian fashion house Missoni, Rezidor also operates and develops the luxury lifestyle brand Hotel Missoni. Following a Strategic Alliance Agreement with Regent Hotels & Resorts, Rezidor will develop and operate new Regent properties in EMEA.
In November 2006, Rezidor was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Carlson, a privately held, global hospitality and travel company, based in Minneapolis (USA), is the majority shareholder.