India, Middle East & Africa

Meet our India, Middle East & Africa 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.
recruiters static image
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.

Grow, Learn &  Enjoy!

Global Leadership Programme

Leadership development is attainable at all levels of the organisation, and is achieved through dynamic blended learning experiences.

Emerging Leader Development journey, designed for our supervisory level, builds confident and enthusiastic leaders who communicate with care and understanding, and make people better.  This learning journey develops leadership behaviour and embeds our Accor leadership culture, assisting Emerging Leaders to strengthen and increase self-awareness of key leadership competencies identified for their level.

During the journey, the participants will engage in digital, facilitator led virtual and social learning, and have the opportunity to put the new learnings into practice with some exciting field missions.

Emerging Leader 2020 Cohort​​​​​​​
"Growth is all about mindset.

This journey has opened my thinking capacity to limitless ideas and changed my whole perception on how to go about leadership. Many are the attributes derived from my emerging leaders journey that I have implemented and I can see a rise in change of both attitude and mindset.

​​​​​​​I am happy to be part of this cohort."
Ian, Chef
Ibis Styles Westlands Nairobi
Emerging Leader 2020 Cohort
"My most favourite part was when we were divided into private groups to exchange views with different team members. This helped me get to know my colleagues and their views too.

The functions of my brain which were probably tuned on a certain level and this learning journey has helped me to understand and discover different angles of my leadership behaviour and how it influences my team both positively & negatively .

I felt I was growing with the passage of each module."
Sunita, Spa & Health Club Manager
Movenpick Hotel Karachi
Emerging Leader 2020 Cohort​​​​​​​
"When I was nominated to attend the Global Leadership Program for Emerging Leaders, I was a bit sceptical at first: how will this digital form of training be conducted? However, once the kick off session started, followed by such great interactive sessions it made me feel as if I am doing my masters in leadership! I am polishing my leadership skills and learning new techniques to develop myself by involving my team. This is a very trendy learning experience which relates to current and real scenarios and allows us to find solutions."
Rakesh, F&B
Sofitel Corniche Abu Dhabi
recruiters static image
Employee Generated Content (EGC)
Our employee-generated approach to learning is an informal yet fast-paced, organic alternative to traditional top-down learning approaches.

Content that is generated by employees can include videos, tutorials, images, PPT and PDF documents, and any other content created by employees and related to their hotel, department or position.

Fundamentally, this approach means giving employees, our greatest assets, the power to create and maintain learning content on topics in which they are experts or hold a level of mastery. 

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
recruiters static image

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.
market benefits static image
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.
market our values static image
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.