Big changes are taking place at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts: The company announced today that Jim FitzGibbon, President Worldwide Hotel Operations, has decided to retire. FitzGibbon will continue to be involved with the company in an advisory role as Four Seasons transitions to a new organizational structure. He will officially relinquish these transitional responsibilities at the end of 2012.
“In his distinguished 35-year career, Jim has mentored and stewarded many of the Company’s current and future leaders, leaving behind a solid foundation for succession,” said Katie Taylor, CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
FitzGibbon’s career at Four Seasons has spanned 10 posts in almost as many countries, beginning with an entry level position in the Front Office at the Inn on the Park Toronto and culminating in his appointment to President, Worldwide Hotel Operations in 2006.
Four Seasons is also transitioning to a new and elevated hotel operational structure. For some time now, the Company has been adding resources to each region, in recognition of the need to have on the ground expertise in areas such as finance, marketing communications and F&B. The brand is now adding two regional Presidents of Hotel Operations for Asia Pacific and the Americas to its executive team. Antoine Corinthios already fulfills that role for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. These appointments are consistent with Four Seasons long-term focus on promotion from within and strengthen the Company’s ability to deliver best in class results and sustainable growth in the years ahead.
• Chris Hart is appointed President, Hotel Operations - Asia Pacific. In this role, Hart will continue to provide strategic leadership for hotel operations throughout the Asia Pacific region, which is the fastest growing part of the Company. All Regional Vice Presidents in Asia Pacific will continue to report to Hart, and he will report directly to Katie Taylor. Born in Canada and educated in England, Hart joined Four Seasons in Edmonton in 1984, progressing to increasingly senior roles within the Company. In January, 2008 he was promoted to Senior Vice President, Operations, Asia Pacific. Hart will continue to be based in Singapore.
• Craig Reid is appointed President, Hotel Operations - Americas. In this new role, Reid will assume responsibility for hotel operations in Canada, the United States and Central and South America. All Americas Regional Vice Presidents will report to Reid, and he will report directly to Katie Taylor. Born in Lima, Peru, Reid spent his formative years in Spain, France, Switzerland, and eventually England. He started with Four Seasons in Washington DC in 1983. Reid was promoted to Senior Vice President, Operations, Americas in 2007, overseeing half of the Company’s Americas portfolio. Reid will continue to be based out of Dallas, Texas.
In addition to these appointments, Four Seasons is also creating a new executive position to oversee global product and innovation.
• Chris Hunsberger is appointed Executive Vice President, Product and Innovation. In this newly created role, Chris will be responsible for overseeing the Company's product evolution and innovation efforts. Guy Rigby, Vice President, Food & Beverage, Americas and Scott Taber, Vice President Rooms, Americas, will report directly to Chris, and Chris will report directly to Katie Taylor. Hunsberger began his career with Four Seasons in 1981 at The Pierre, New York (then a Four Seasons hotel). In January of 2008, Chris was promoted to Senior Vice President, Operations, Americas. He will continue to be based out of Washington, D.C.
These three operational appointments are effective August 1.
Having strong leadership for Four Seasons legal, compliance and risk management activities is also becoming increasingly important as the Company opens properties in more new and diverse markets. Effective immediately, Sarah Cohen is has been named Executive Vice President and General Counsel. This appointment recognizes the role that Sarah has fulfilled as General Counsel since 2009, both as legal advisor and risk management strategist as the Company continues to increase the number of jurisdictions in which we operate. Sarah joined Four Seasons in 1998 as Corporate Counsel, progressing to increasingly senior roles within the Company. In 2006, she was promoted to Senior Vice President and was subsequently promoted to General Counsel in August 2009. In this role, Sarah will continue to report to Katie Taylor. Sarah is based out of the Toronto Corporate office.