India, Middle East, Africa and Turkey

Meet our India, Middle East, Africa & Turkey Leadership Team

Mark Willis
​​​​​​​Chief Executive Officer
“We’re in the business of making people smile”

As CEO of one of Accor’s fastest-growing businesses, the India, Middle East and Africa,  Mark is responsible for a
portfolio of more than 400 hotels in operation and development and leads the region’s management team, drawing on his 30-plus years of industry experience across four continents.
Sami Nasser
Chief Operating Officer
“The target should be to build a management A-Team; then everything else falls into place.”

​​​​​​​As COO, Sami is responsible for more than 175 hotels in operation and under development in Saudi Arabia, North Africa, Levant and the Indian Ocean and believes in building a team with entrepreneurial spirit.
Marc Descrozaille
Chief Operating Officer
“Always give back – to your people, your organisation and your community.”

​​​​​​​Marc brings more than two decades of industry know-how to his role as COO for Accor’s 170 hotels in operation and development across the Gulf (excluding KSA) and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Yigit Sezgin
Chief Commercial Officer
“With the right people, we can make any system work.”

Yigit is responsible for all commercial aspects of the MEA business including sales, marketing, communications, loyalty, partnerships, business intelligence and revenue management, as well as the pioneer of the group’s digital transformation and brand development in the region, including the ALL – Accor Live Limitless roll out.
Tariq Valani
Senior Vice President Information Technology
“When used in the right way, technology can create a positive and memorable guest experience.”

Tariq brings over 15 years of experience to the Accor team with the responsibility to look over the strategic direction as well as day-to-day delivery of IT services and solutions for all Accor brands in the Middle East, Africa, India and Turkey.
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Craig Cochrane
Senior Vice President Talent & Culture
“Adapting to you organisation’s objectives will set you up for success.”

​​​​​​​Craig is playing a pivotal role in supporting the growth and transformation of Accor in MEA, which includes expanding the
talent pool from 33,000 to 50,000 by 2021 and instilling the group’s outstanding service culture based on its intention to make guests, colleagues and business partners ‘Feel Valued’.
Iain Morten
Senior Vice President, General Counsel
“Make responsible decisions and stand by them.”

​​​​​​​Iain is an experienced corporate lawyer with vast hospitality industry expertise, responsible for negotiating and rubber-stamping company policies and transactions that deliver Accor’s MEA strategy, particularly those related to large and complex development activities.
Johny Zakhem
Chief Finance Officer
“Performance hinges on agility and transparency; it’s more than number crunching – it's a cultural transformation.”

As CFO, Johny plays a leading role in
guiding the strategic direction of the company’s regional growth plans, ensuring its financial framework and culture effectively support all planning and development objectives.
Francois Baudin
Senior Vice President Development
“To be successful in business all stakeholders must share the same long-term vision.”

​​​​​​​Francois is responsible for cementing Accor’s leadership position in the luxury hospitality sector, keeping a keen eye on new development prospects and potential acquisitions across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and identifying opportunities to forge relationships with key investors in the finance and development community.

My learning journey at Accor

The Global Professional Leaders Development Journey is a 4 month blended learning experience which aims to inspire business smart leaders to achieve results by empowering and including others.

​​​​​​​In this journey, the participants deep dive into the three strategic pillars of our Accor leadership culture; Leading Self, Leading Others and Leading the Business.

"It has been an intense four month journey discovering our main strengths and skills as leaders but above all, as shining individuals.

The learning journey began with a focus on who we really are; our strengths and limitations, our vulnerabilities and to gain the courage to expose our real selves."

​​​​​​​Doha, Qatar
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"A great eye opener and I took a lot away from the programme:

Do not get stuck in your comfort zone.

Put your heart in operation.

Stay positive at all times, teach and encourage your team to speak up, share ideas and recognize each individual.

Listen carefully and think twice before you act, understand the other side and do it together."

Cairo, Egypt

"I am excited to recommend the GLP Professional course to anyone who is inspired to make a strong step forward in his or her career and self-development.

It is a blend of leadership insights and expertise showing the practices from different angles, with unexpected focus on practical useful tools and reasons why strength development is the key to success."

Fujairah, UAE

"The Global Leadership Programme made us realise that we are more powerful than what we expect.

It inspired me personally to be a better person not only with in my department but also in everything I do. I have started to focus on recognition and engagement to achieve awesome results and how I should prioritize the tasks and that leads to better time management."

​​​​​​​Dubai, Deira
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"The Global Leadership Programme learning journey has allowed me to discover a new tool called BMC (Business Management Canvas). I have used this amazing tool to plan the reopening of our massage center after 18 months of being closed due to pandemic. This business performance analysis model led us to a successful zero cost reopening by contracting with an external certified massage center to provide safe massage service to our client with a shared commission."

​​​​​​​Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
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At Accor, we all RiiSE to new heights!


Accor promotes diversity as a means of driving our collective performance. Striving for gender diversity, generational diversity and multicultural diversity, with the conviction to create the greatest teams. Now with over 30,000 members worldwide, RiiSE uses mentoring, training, events and more to activate initiatives and foster sharing in order to fight stereotypes and violence against all diversities.
RiiSE is a solidarity and mutual support network motivated to inspire women and men within Accor. RiiSE means raising yourself up; going beyond equality towards equity; becoming and being better; being fulfilled and developing as an individual, but also, and above all, collectively. Powerful concepts that reflect the values dear to our Group. At Accor, "we all RiiSE to new heights"!

IMEA RiiSE Committee
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Planet 21
Acting here in the India, Middle East & Africa Region

​​​​​​​As the India, Middle East and Africa’s largest hotel operator, Accor is committed to promoting sustainability across every aspect of its operations. Its global corporate social responsibility programme, Planet 21 – Acting Here, encapsulates this ethos, providing a detailed roadmap for all of its hotels to follow.

Planet 21 comprises of 71 sustainability actions focusing on two key priorities – food and beverage (F&B) and buildings – and involves four main stakeholders: Employees, Guests, Partners & Local Communities.
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Evolvin' Women
In an effort to further promote gender equality, diversity and inclusion, Accor Middle East and Africa has partnered with a UAE-led initiative that promotes the advancement of women in rural communities.

Women from remote areas of countries including South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya are being granted two-year placement with Accor where they are provided with training, work experience and one-to-one mentoring with hotel colleagues and management.
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CCFA kick-starts conservation efforts in Africa More than 70% of wild animals in Africa live outside national parks. As a result, human-wildlife conflict becomes a daily occurrence for rural communities leading to a disregard for wildlife conservation efforts.

In May 2018, following Accor’s strategic partnership with Mantis Group, the two parties launched the Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA), a non-profit organisation (NGO) dedicated to helping African rural communities engage in biodiversity conservation through improved development of their land, wildlife and natural resources.

We are delighted to introduce you to Selma, a current Evolvin' Women participant and Accor Heartist®. ​​​Click on the video below.