The Swiss hotelier Kurt Ritter is celebrating 35th years with Rezidor.
In 1976, he joined the company as general manager of the SAS Luleå Hotel in Sweden and has headed Rezidor as the president and chief executive since 1989.
The achievement makes him among the longest serving chiefs in the hospitality industry.
Rezidor’s board of directors recently extended Ritter’s contract until 2015.
“I look back on 35 fantastic and incredibly diversified years – and forward to more than three equally exciting years,” commented Ritter.
“I still love what I am doing and feel that I can still move things.”
Under his management Rezidor has developed from a small Scandinavian group to a global player and to one of the fastest growing hotel companies of the world.
The group currently has 35,000 employees, features three distinct brands - Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson and Hotel Missoni - and more than 400 hotels with 90,000 rooms in operation and under development in 64 countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
After spending some time with Ramada International Hotels in Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden, Ritter joined Rezidor – as a general manager in Sweden and Kuwait,
He moved on to become vice president Middle East & Far East, based in Singapore, and finally took the role as president and chief executive, based in Oslo and then in Brussels.
Key dates of his career include the Master Franchise Agreement with Carlson Hotels Worldwide to create Radisson SAS in 1994, and the agreement with Carlson in 2002 to also develop the brands Country Inns & Suites, Park Inn and Regent across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
In 2005, Ritter signed the worldwide licence agreement with Missoni to develop and operate the luxury lifestyle brand Hotel Missoni, and in 2006 he was responsible for Rezidor’s IPO on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.
Kurt Ritter is married to Lara Ritter and lives in Brussels, Belgium. He has three grown-up children and a first baby granddaughter, born in January 2011.