Tim Cordon. Tim Cordon.

The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has appointed Tim Cordon as the new area senior vice president for the Middle East, Turkey & Africa, effective immediately.

Cordon succeeds Mark Willis, who will leave the company on January 10, 2018 to pursue another career opportunity outside the hotel group. Willis ranked fourth in the 2017 edition of the Hotelier Middle East Power 50 [watch his interview below].

Cordon, who is a British national, has been with Carlson Rezidor since 2003 and began his career in the UK, holding leadership positions at Carlson Rezidor’s hotels in Manchester and London. He briefly left the group to become general manager of the Cumberland Hotel in London, before returning as the general manager of the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek. In 2015, he was promoted to regional director Middle East & Turkey.

Cordon holds a degree from Nottingham Trent University in Mechanical Engineering and Design and Technology. In 2006, he entered the British Hospitality Hall of Fame, with the Alpha Forum Prize. Tim is married and has 3 children. He will continue to be based in Dubai.

Chema Basterrechea, executive vice president & chief operating officer, said in a statement: "I am pleased to announce Tim Cordon’s appointment to area senior vice president for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. Tim is a young and dynamic hotelier who brings the level of knowledge, skills and experience, which are critical to our expansion plans and our strategic operations across these important markets. He has already played an instrumental role in establishing our operations in the Middle East and Turkey, and I am confident he will continue his impressive work to the benefit of our guests, our owners and our stakeholders. This appointment further signals our continued commitment to promoting leaders from within our organisation."

He continued: "I would like to thank Mark Willis for his remarkable leadership and service over the last 20 years. He built up his career from the position of district director UK up to area senior vice president Middle East, Africa & Turkey. He played a critical role in the recent merger of our two key growth regions – Middle East, Turkey & Africa. We wish Mark the very best and express our sincere thanks for his dedication and loyalty to Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group."

A British national, Willis has more than 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, including more than 15 years with the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Starting his career in the culinary sector, Willis took on roles in a number of locations including London, Stuttgart and South Africa before moving to the UAE in 1995 to hold a variety of senior roles.

In 1998, he returned to the UK, where he joined the Rezidor Hotel Group as hotel manager for Radisson SAS Hotel Manchester before securing his first general manager position in 2000 with Radisson SAS in Oslo, Norway. Willis then relocated to Bahrain in 2002 as GM of the Diplomat Radisson SAS Hotel.

He moved back to London in 2004, opening the Radisson SAS London Stansted Airport. He then joined the Radisson SAS Portman Hotel in London’s W1 where he became the district director for the UK South region, supporting a further seven Radisson Blu properties.

After three years as regional director for the UK, responsible for the operation and profitability of 13 Radisson Blu properties located throughout the UK, including the flagship Missoni Hotel in Edinburgh, Willis returned to the Gulf in 2012 as area vice president for the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa for the Rezidor Hotel Group. Based in Dubai, Willis was most recently promoted as the area senior vice president for the Middle East, Turkey & Africa.

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