Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced three key appointments, as it continues to strengthen its operational leadership team.
Christian Clerc has been appointed President, Hotel Operations – Americas, while Simon Casson has been promoted to President, Hotel Operations – Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Rainer Stampfer has been promoted to President, Hotel Operations – Asia Pacific.
Each will focus on key initiatives across their respective regions, strengthening the company’s position as a RevPAR leader and ensuring that both existing and new properties are the best representation of Four Seasons in every market where the company operates.
“Christian, Simon and Rainer are exceptional leaders, accomplished hotel operators and committed to the culture and values that define Four Seasons,” says J. Allen Smith, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
“These appointments demonstrate the deep bench strength of leadership experience we have across the organisation,” continues Smith. “We are proud to be able to promote from within as we develop the next generation of operations leadership at Four Seasons. Having the right leaders in place ensures that we continue to operate the very best luxury hotels, resorts and private residences in the world.”
Christian Clerc will assume the role of President of Hotel Operations – Americas, succeeding Chris Hart, who is leaving Four Seasons after a 32-year career with the company. Clerc moves into his new role after spending two years based in Dubai as President, Hotel Operations – Europe, Middle East and Africa. During this time Four Seasons opened several new properties across Europe and Africa including those in Johannesburg, Casablanca, Moscow and Cap-Ferrat, France, and continued to strengthen its presence in the Middle East with key openings in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Born and educated in Switzerland and a graduate of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Clerc has enjoyed an exemplary 16-year career with Four Seasons. In 2003 he received his first General Manager (GM) assignment in Punta Mita, Mexico and was quickly promoted to Regional Vice President (RVP). Clerc continued his Four Seasons journey with senior operational roles in Chicago and Washington, DC before assuming the role of GM of the iconic Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris in 2013, while also overseeing properties in Europe and Africa in his capacity as RVP. He was promoted to President, Hotel Operations – Europe, Middle East and Africa in 2014.
Following Clerc’s transition to the Americas, Simon Casson has been promoted to President, Hotel Operations – Europe, Middle East and Africa. Casson is currently RVP and GM of Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach. He will continue to be based in Dubai, transitioning from the Resort to Four Seasons corporate office in the Dubai International Financial Centre.
A native of the UK, Casson joined Four Seasons 27 years ago and has held management positions in London, Washington DC and Doha, where he served as the opening GM at Four Seasons Hotel Doha for nine years.
In 2011 Casson was promoted to RVP, overseeing properties in Europe and the Middle East. Since 2013 he has been posted in Dubai where he opened Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach to great acclaim. During this time Casson also chaired the company’s Global Spa Task Force, overseeing Four Seasons spa efforts worldwide.
Rainer Stampfer, RVP and GM of Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai has been promoted to President, Hotel Operations – Asia Pacific. Stampfer succeeds William Mackay who will be leaving Four Seasons after 34 years of service.
German born and educated, Stampfer joined Four Seasons in 2001 and since that time has held progressively senior positions with the company in Europe, the US and Asia. In 2006 he was appointed opening GM at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui in Thailand and was subsequently promoted to RVP and GM of Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, with oversight for all Four Seasons properties in Thailand. In 2011 Stampfer assumed the role of opening GM for Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai, where in addition to his management responsibilities he oversaw several properties in China in his capacity as RVP.
In his new position, based in Singapore, Stampfer will leverage his extensive experience in the region to grow the company’s presence in Asia Pacific and continue to focus on China’s strategic importance as both an inbound and outbound travel market.
The company will soon be opening a new hotel in Tianjin – the company’s ninth hotel in China – and has announced plans for a luxury resort property in Sanya at Haitang Bay.
Other upcoming openings in the region include a new hotel in Bangkok on the Chao Phraya river; a new property in Kuala Lumpur – the company’s first urban property in Malaysia; a private island in the Maldives – the first private island in the company’s portfolio; and two new properties in Japan – a hotel in Kyoto opening later this year and a recently announced second Tokyo property in the city’s Otemachi district.
Clerc, Casson and Stampfer will transition to their new roles over the next several weeks and will report to Christopher W. Norton, President, Global Product and Chief Operating Officer, who oversees global hotel operations and is responsible for the end-to-end guest experience.
“Our people create the experiences that define and differentiate our company and they are essential to creating a guest experience that is uniquely Four Seasons,” says Norton. “Christian, Simon and Rainer share a deep understanding of the needs of our luxury guests. They are passionate about perfecting the guest experience in our hotels and leading and inspiring their teams to do the same, a quality that is instrumental to our success today and in the future.”