Willis to lead Accor in Africa and Middle East

Willis to lead Accor in Africa and Middle East

AccorHotels has appointed Mark Willis as chief executive officer for Middle East and Africa. 

Based in Dubai, Willis will be responsible for overseeing a combined network of close to 400 hotels in operation and pipeline across the regions.

Willis joins the company in the region at a time when the Middle East and Africa region has experienced significant growth, with Accor opening on average two hotels every month.

A venerated leader with over 30 years of hospitality experience, he will be tasked with driving operational excellence through top line performance, quality and guest satisfaction.

At the same time, Willis will seek to fuel growth in the region by nurturing a talent pool set to reach 50,000 employees by 2021.

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Formerly president for the Asia region with Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Willis joined Accor when the French company acquired Mövenpick earlier this year.

“Mark has demonstrated exceptional leadership in operational, commercial and strategic areas and understands the travel and hospitality industry intuitively.

“His guest centric approach combined with a deep understanding of the Middle East and Africa will be invaluable as we continue delivering cherished experiences for our guests and demonstrable returns for our valued partners,” said Chris Cahill, deputy chief executive officer, AccorHotels.

Over the span of 20 years, his career has also taken Willis on a journey into several senior leadership roles within the Radisson Hotel Group (formerly Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group), including regional director for the UK, area vice president, Middle East & sub-Sahara Africa and senior vice president Middle East, Africa & Turkey.

It was in this last role with the Radisson Hotel Group, that Willis oversaw all brands within a portfolio of 85 hotels with over 80 hotels in the development pipeline.

Willis has completed several senior management programs at Cornell University, New York and holds an MBA in International Business from Oxford University in the UK. 

He has also held active board member positions within the Hospitality industry in both the UK and the Middle East

Accor Hotels

AccorHotels is a world-leading travel and lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,500 hotels, resorts and residences across 100 different countries.

With a portfolio of internationally renowned hotel brands encompassing the entire range from luxury to economy, from upscale to lifestyle and midscale brands, AccorHotels was founded more than 50 years ago.

In addition to its core hospitality business, AccorHotels has successfully expanded its range of services, becoming the world leader in luxury private residence rental with more than 10,000 properties around the world.

The group is also active in the fields of concierge services, co-working, dining, events management and digital solutions.