Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, president of Hilton in Middle East, Africa and Turkey, has passed away.
Hilton’s executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Simon Vincent, confirmed the news.
He said: “It is with great shock that I share the incredibly sad news that our much loved colleague and friend, Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, affectionately known as JJ, has unexpectedly passed away. Our heartfelt sympathies are with JJ’s family who we are supporting in every way we can.
“JJ’s Hilton journey began more than three decades ago, when he joined Hilton Amsterdam as a Chief Steward in 1990. Throughout his career he held multiple positions across Europe, including as General Manager in the UK, France, Greece and Belgium. He eventually moved from operations into corporate, ultimately leading Continental Europe before relocating to Dubai and becoming President, Middle East, Africa and Türkiye in early 2020.
“Anyone that knew JJ will agree that he was a remarkable, larger-than-life individual, both in stature and character. He had a big heart and always did everything with a smile. Hospitality came naturally to him, and he truly lived our Hilton values every day of his career.
“A true hotelier at heart, JJ had a profound impact on our organisation and his extraordinary career and contributions left an incredible mark on the lives of so many people around the world – we will all miss him greatly. He was an inspiration to all of us, and his legacy will continue to live on in the work that we do every day.”
Jochem-Jan Sleiffer’s career in the region
In his capacity as regional president, Sleiffer was responsible for 32,000 staff and close to 200 hotels. Under his direction, he turned his region into one of Hilton’s most successful, with a strong pipeline of properties in the works, especially in Saudi Arabia.
Sleiffer championed various different initiatives in his time, from sustainability and environmentalism to providing job opportunities to local populations across the Gulf, and providing equal opportunities, including for people of determination, to move into hospitality careers.
Source: Hotelier Middle East