Hilton appoints senior VP of operations for Continental Europe

David Kelly brings hospitality operations and strategic leadership experience of almost 25 years with Hilton

David Kelly, Hilton's current senior vice president, operations, Continental Europe
David Kelly, Hilton's current senior vice president, operations, Continental Europe

Hilton has appointed David Kelly as its senior vice president, operations, Continental Europe.

Joining Hilton’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region from his current position overseeing Greater China and Mongolia, Kelly will oversee the operations of 57 hotels across 26 European countries. Kelly takes on his role following the transfer of Jochem-Jan Sleiffer to become Hilton’s area president of Middle East, Africa & Turkey.

Commenting on the appointment, Hilton’s EVP and President, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Simon Vincent said: “I am delighted that Kelly is joining the EMEA team, bringing with him extensive hospitality operations and strategic leadership experience. Kelly will drive our business forward in Continental Europe as we continue to deliver exceptional experiences for guests, meaningful opportunities for Team Members and strong returns for our owners.”

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Kelly joined Hilton USA in 1995 before heading to Australia to work in various operations and commercial roles for the company. Moving to China in 2012, he spearheaded the multi-brand growth of the China portfolio from 34 to over 210 hotels. In his current role since 2017, he led on initiatives including strategic planning for China, setting out Hilton’s vision for business growth in the region and by creating a localised version of the Hilton Garden Inn brand for the Chinese market. Kelly has also included diversity throughout his career by supporting the development of female leaders and increasing the number of women in GM positions.

On his appointment, Kelly commented: “It’s a privilege to take on this role in Continental Europe where Hilton’s presence spans many different markets, languages and cultures. I am excited to embark on this next chapter of my Hilton career, working with a team of true hospitality professionals as we aim to deliver market-leading performance and the best customer experience in the business.”

Kelly will assume his new position on 1 January, 2020 and be based in Hilton’s regional office in Barcelona.

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