After first joining the company in 1976 as general manager of the SAS Luleå Hotel in Sweden, Rezidor Hotel Group President and CEO Kurt Ritter is now celebrating his 35th anniversary with the company. Rezidor’s Board of Directors recently extended Ritter’s contract until 2015, which makes him the longest serving leader in the industry.
“I still love what I’m doing and feel that I can still move things,” said Kurt Ritter, who graduated from École Hôtelière de Lausanne and took his first position at the luxury Hotel Bellevue Palace in Berne as assistant manager.
Under his management and leadership, Rezidor has developed from a small Scandinavian group to a global player and to one of the fastest growing hotel companies of the world. The group currently has 35,000 employees, features three distinct brands (Radisson Blu, Park Inn by Radisson, Hotel Missoni) and more than 400 hotels with 90,000 rooms in operation and under development in 64 countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa. In 2002, Ritter won HOTELS’ Corporate Hotelier of the World award.
What comes next? “I will further focus on revenue generation, and on Rezidor’s profitable growth in emerging markets like Russia/CIS and Africa. We were pioneers in these regions and are today among the leading international players – a position which we want to keep and extend”, commented Ritter. “On the worldwide market, we aim to globally align our brands together with Carlson, owner of the Radisson- and Park Inn brands and our majority shareholder,” added Ritter.