How are they leveraging technology to create a COVID compliant offering? How are they boosting traveller confidence? How has it been utilised to increase efficiencies?
Floor Bleeker Chief Information Officer Middle East & Africa and Global Strategic Programs – Accor
Chief Information Officer Middle East & Africa and Global Strategic Programs – Accor
Floor was appointed Chief Information Officer MEA and Global Accor Strategic Programs in November 2018 when, after a prolonged period of substantial growth, Accor established a consolidated IT function in the region. Floor and his senior team are responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day delivery of IT services and solutions for all Accor brands in Africa and the Middle East, and for the technical integration of brands headquartered in the region. Floor is also responsible for global strategic IT programs for the Accor Group.
Prior to joining Accor, Floor was CIO for Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts for five years. In this role, he was responsible for IT strategy, program development and implementation across the wider Mövenpick Group. Taking on the position during a period of substantial challenge, he successfully led the IT function through the changes required to update legacy systems to meet the demands of a rapidly developing hospitality market. This included steering the organization through the adoption of Cloud services, and establishing Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts as global pioneers in hospitality Cloud technology.
With nearly two decades of multinational experience in the luxury hospitality industry, Floor has a substantial background in IT strategy development and execution, business analysis and application development. He prioritizes team leadership and performance management as fundamental to delivering on the ambitious demands of the industry. He started his IT career in Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts in Belgium before moving to Dubai as Director of IT for The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. He then took up the position of VP Business Solutions for Jumeirah Group, a post he held for nine years.
Floor holds a Bachelors degree in Hotel Administration from Hotelschool, The Hague, the Netherlands and an MBA degree from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, USA.
Accor IT MEA is responsible for the day- to-day delivery of IT services and solutions for all Accor brands in Africa and the Middle East as well as for the integration of newly acquired brands. Its role is to create a consistent and positive impact on the business success of all Accor brands through the delivery of effective and innovative technology solutions. Accor IT MEA has six business priorities that support the global strategic direction during this period of transformation, with five areas of expertise – Customer Service Management, Digital Transformation, Brand Integration, New Developments and Shared Services.
In conversation with
Willem Both EVP Information Technology – Kerzner International
EVP Information Technology – Kerzner International
Willem Both is Executive Vice President of IT for Kerzner International, based in their Global headquarters in Dubai. Willem is responsible for all IT aspects for the company.
Willem Both is a life-long hospitality professional who started off washing dishes in a Dutch pancake restaurant at the age of 13 to get a feel for the industry, and then never left it. After graduating with a Bachelors degree in Hotel Administration from Hotelschool, The Hague, the Netherlands, Willem settled living in the USA in 1995 moving from Marriott to Dusit to Hilton and then Sheraton ITT/Starwood. He slowly switched from running Front Office operations to Information Technology, then evolving from hotel IT to corporate IT project management, moving to Singapore in 2008 where he was promoted several times to eventually take on the position as Vice President of IT for Starwood Asia Pacific, covering hotels from China to Australia, India to Samoa. Following the Marriott merger in 2016, Willem left Starwood after 19 years and he and his family moved to Dubai to take on his current position as EVP and Global head of IT for Kerzner International.
When not absorbed by work, Willem stays somewhat in shape by running but much prefers playing quarter-field football with his friends, building treehouses and pizza ovens or cooking messy but tasty breakfasts with his two young kids for his Argentinean wife.
Waleid Ibrahim Vice President, Global Information Technology - Middle East & Africa – Marriott International
Vice President, Global Information Technology - Middle East & Africa – Marriott International
A leader in Information Technology with extensive hospitality industry experience that spans across Europe, Middle East and Africa and ranging from luxury to the select service segments. Able to leverage 25+ years of hospitality technology and infrastructure expertise to drive business objectives and internal & external customer satisfaction results. Strong experience in management at the global and enterprise levels with the ability to provide strategic and tactical direction and support to executive and IT senior leadership. Expertise in IT strategy development, identification and adoption of new technology solutions for evolving business needs, and strong IT organization design skills. Strong experience in hotel group acquisitions and IT integrations, overseeing new build hotel infrastructure design & deployment, preparation and management of corporate administrative budgets, IT security & risk management, and technology life cycle management. Excellent interpersonal skills; able to communicate and collaborate effectively with individuals at all levels of the organization.
Responsible for formulating the strategic direction, implementation, and management of all technology solutions and support for 300 operating and pipeline hotels across MEA; represented by 45,000 rooms and 280 above and on-property IT associates. Oversight of the continent’s information technology infrastructure including on-property operations, security & compliance, shared service centers, customer facing technologies, new opening development, and above property office support. Member of Marriott International’s Information Technology Senior Leadership team that guides the company’s global IT strategy, initiatives, brand standards, and regulatory and compliance efforts.
Waleid holds over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He started his career with Marriott International in 1997 as Director of Hotel Technology for The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, before taking on the role of Area Systems Manager for The Ritz-Carlton portfolio across the Middle East.
Sanjay Sharma Head of Information Technology – Jumeirah Group
Head of Information Technology – Jumeirah Group
Sanjay is the Head of IT for Jumeirah Group with experience and passion for driving business transformation, change and outcomes with innovation and technology. He brings over 20 years of experience gained within Emirates Airline where he held a variety of positions across the Information Technology environment. He has a very extensive experience in leading broader Digital Transformative initiatives encompassing a wealth of innovation to both the customer journey as well as the organizational infrastructure.