Dutch lifestyle and hotel brand, citizenM, has announced the appointment of Hendrik Jan Roel as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer, as well as the promotion of Ernest Lee as the brand’s first-ever global Chief Growth Officer.
Hendrik will join citizenM on May 1st after 22 years at Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. where he most recently (since 2014) served as CFO & EVP of Albert Heijn, Etos and Gall&Gall. Ernest, who previously served as citizenM’s MD for the Americas, begins his new role this month.
Hendrik will bring 25 years of international financial experience, and a rich leadership track record. In 2019, he received the Leadership in Finance award, a well-recognised award in the Dutch finance community. In addition to his professional achievements, he also brings a passion for art, design and hotels – Roel is a member of the Board of Trustees and the Audit Committee of the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and of the Hogere Hotelschool The Hague, as well as being a board member of the Ahold Delhaize Art Foundation.
He is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of GS1 Nederland B.V., a nonprofit organisation which develops international uniform standards for the identification, capture and sharing of data. Hendrik prides himself in his ability to show resilience in challenging circumstances, something the hospitality industry has certainly had to face over the past 22 months.
For his part, Ernest Lee brings a wide range of business experience in investments, real estate, finance, strategy, and operations and is known for guiding the complex, multi-regional expansion of citizenM’s North American portfolio. Based in New York City, as Chief Growth Officer Lee will directly support and help lead citizenM’s global operating business by implementing new growth initiatives, products and programs, pursuing strategic partnerships, and developing long-term commercial strategy jointly with citizenM’s Chief Commercial Officer.
This set of responsibilities builds on Lee’s involvement as a co-leader of several business innovation teams within citizenM, where he helped develop and launch significant new products including the Subscription program. Moving into Ernest’s former role is Tyler Lavin, formerly Vice President of Development and Investment for North America. His colleague Marissa Ballan, also formerly Vice President of Development and Investment for North America, will take on a key role as Head of Investment Management.
“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, citizenM has seen remarkable success, continuing to open hotels, secure new deals, and recruit and elevate top talent throughout this period, all of which are testament to our unique position as a brand on an industry level and beyond,” says Klaas van Lookeren Campagne, CEO of citizenM. “With the continued support of our investors and key leaders and the addition of strong talent like Hendrik Jan to our team, we can confidently pursue our ambitious growth and development plans.”