Kempinski Hotels Appoints Michael Pracht as New Chief Financial Officer

Switzerland, Geneva. August 26, 2019

Kempinski Hotels has appointed Michael Pracht as Chief Financial Officer and as Member of the Management Board as from 1 July 2019. As CFO, Michael will oversee the company's Finance and Technical Services on corporate, regional and hotel level. Michael will be replacing Colin Lubbe, who decided to step back from his mandate by 30 June 2019.

Michael will be the driving force behind securing the company's return on investment and identifying innovative solutions which will enhance performance in his areas of responsibility to ensure efficient decision-making processes across all Kempinski operations. Within the area of Technical Services Michael will oversee pre-opening and engineering, ensuring that services provided to properties throughout the product lifecycle generate a sustained return and protect these assets over the long term.

"I feel honoured to join Kempinski Hotels. The prestigious luxury hotelier is renowned for its expertise in managing resorts and hotels throughout the world while combining individuality with European refinement", said Michael Pracht, newly announced Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Management Board of Kempinski Hotels. "In my new role I am looking forward to reaching out to our stakeholders inside and outside the organisation to ensure efficient workflows and increased ROIs across the network."

Michael is a seasoned and highly experienced executive bringing more than 35 years of finance and operations experience within the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Kempinski Hotels, he served as General Manager at HMS, a part of Maritim Hotel Group, where he was leading the finance and operations departments while also looking after the development of the company's international portfolio. Before, Michael held various senior management positions on corporate level, mainly within the finance and controlling areas, among others within Thomas Cook Group. Prior to this, he gained vast international experience when serving at various locations of Sheraton Hotel & Resorts during the first 13 years of his professional career.

"We wish to welcome Michael Pracht on board of Kempinski Hotels. Michael has a strong financial background that he gathered not only within the finance sector, but across various assignments within hotel operations. In close collaboration with our newly-appointed CEO Martin Smura and the members of the Management Board, Michael will be all set to raise Kempinski to higher heights and to deliver an even greater financial performance. We are confident that with his strong financial business background, Michael will be the perfect fit for his new position", said His Excellency Abdulla H. Saif, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Kempinski AG. "Taking the opportunity, I would like to sincerely thank Colin Lubbe for his contribution and dedication to the group and the Kempinski brand over the last ten years in his role as CFO. We would also like to thank him for having accepted in the interest of the company to extend his mandate during this transition period, thus allowing the Board to recruit and appoint his successor in a transparent and coordinated manner. We wish him every success in his future endeavours."

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.