Wolfgang M Neumann to replace Kurt Ritter in change at top
The Rezidor Hotel Group has announced the appointment of Wolfgang M Neumann, currently the group’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, as the new president and chief executive, effective 1 January 2013. Neumann succeeds Kurt Ritter, who has been president and chief executive since 1989 and who is retiring at the end of the year.
Ritter will assist the new chief as an advisor during a transition period of three months from 1 January and will afterwards continue to be a key strategic advisor to Trudy Rautio, chairman of Rezidor’s board of directors and president & CEO of Carlson.
Kurt Ritter, aged 65, is one of the longest serving CEOs in the hospitality industry. He was born in 1947 in his parents’ hotel in Switzerland and is a graduate of the prestigious École Hôtelière de Lausanne. One of his career highlights with Rezidor was a Master Franchise Agreement with Carlson to create Radisson SAS in 1994. Under his leadership, Rezidor’s portfolio grew to more than 430 hotels with 95,000 rooms in operation and development in 70 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Announcing his transition, he said, “I was fortunate to live my dream. I always wanted to become an hotelier and, looking back on more than 35 great years. I met inspiring people, negotiated exciting deals and always enjoyed working in the service industry.”
Wolfgang M Neumann, aged 50, was born in Austria and educated at the Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management in Klessheim and later in France and the US. He spent more than 20 years with Hilton Hotels & Resorts and held operational and corporate positions there including president for the United Kingdom and Ireland and president for Europe and Africa. Before joining Rezidor, he was chief executive of the Arabella Hospitality Group in Munich. He is married with three children.
[pictured: Wolfgang M Neumann, courtesy Rezidor]