GMs are really COOs

GMs are really COOs

I have known Tarun Kapoor for at least 20 years?first as an educator and more recently as an hotelier and consultant. He wrote me a note the other day in response to the story in January/February issue of HOTELS about the evolution of the hotel general manager?s position. He humbly suggests today that the job title is archaic and limits both the role and its responsibility, as well as undermines the best interest of the business and its ownership.

?The time has come to transform the title to chief operating officer (COO),? he says. ?After all, the hotel is an asset — real estate that needs to grow in value while being a service business that needs to operate profitably.?

Kapoor sees three broad functional areas a COO needs to lead:


1.      The business of the hotel, the hotel?s operations by ensuring they are running at optimum;

2.      The culture and environment of the hotel and its associates by ensuring it is prospering; and

3.      The net worth of the business (both the asset itself and the good will of the hotel) by ensuring the market value is appreciating.


?Imagine a COO whose compensation is based on metrics that measure the above three functional areas?? he says. ?Imagine the type of person we would select? Imagine how this would change the way owners and other stakeholders look at them and the position itself??

Tarun offers a very interesting scenario for owners and operators?perhaps one already being employed, if only in practice.

No doubt, the days of the prim and proper GM climbing the ranks through the food and beverage department are almost history. An MBA has become much more important than a sommelier?s designation.

My first blog on the evolution of the GM struck a nerve and led to a big response. Now, tell me what you think of Tarun?s suggestion. Is it time for the GM to be known at the hotel COO?