Dubai: Two of the UAE’s top hotel executives have stepped down over the last two days to take up new roles.
Accor Hotels said on Tuesday it has appointed Olivier Granet as the company’s managing director and chief operating officer for the Middle East, replacing Christophe Landais who held the position for over 15 years.
Granet joined Accor Hotels in 1999 as chief financial officer for Central Europe, and has since taken up vice-president, corporate finance, senior vice-president and strategy roles. He moved to Dubai in 2011 to head up Accor’s regional development team, overseeing the signing of over 70 new partnership agreements across the region.
Landais will now be responsible for Accor’s new mission in Iran, where it plans further expansion. It opened its first two hotels in Tehran in the last quarter of 2015.
“I would like to thank Christophe Landais for his 15-year tenure as Middle East COO, which has not only shaped our entire regional operations but ensured our positioning as the leading and fastest-growing hotel group in the region. He will now get to do the same for Accor Hotels in Iran,” said Jean-Jacques Dessors, chief executive officer of Accor in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa region.
On Monday, Gerald Lawless, who joined Jumeirah Group 18 years ago, stepped down from his role as founding chief executive and president of the group to take up a new position responsible for tourism and hospitality at Dubai Holding, Jumeirah’s parent company. Starting from February 1, he will be replaced by Stefan Leser who joins the group from Swiss travel business Kuoni, where he was executive vice-president of its outbound travel and inbound specialist businesses.