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.
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.
slide 5 of 9 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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Being part of Adagio Premium the Palm means to dare to be you. Dare to come as you are and enjoy limitless possibilities. We want to see how far you can go and how do you challenge the status quo. We want to see you grow and develop while remaining true to yourself. Be unique.
Three of our Heartists from the hotel share their experience.
"Growing is all about learning."
Being part of Adagio Premium the Palm taught me to be proud of myself. During the pre-opening stage I was not confident enough to come as I am. Gradually my manager, team leaders and colleagues taught me to be confident and use my charisma and true power to serve our guests, and to make this as part of our service promise, to be unique!
I have learnt that teamwork and hunger of learning is required to be successful, that’s why I try my best every day to achieve my goals while sharing responsibilities with my team!
Guest Service Agent
Simple, friendly, patient, food enthusiast, this is what best describes me. Hi! I’m Chef Chrysel.
My journey at Adagio Premium the Palm has been so fruitful and full of surprises. I have found my strength in every challenge from setting up my Pastry Kitchen up to serving the guest.
I live by a simple motto “Never stop learning and never give up through failure and success”, something that I learned from my highly regarded leaders throughout my journey.
Demi Chef de Partie
Lead and develop, “Row the boat together” is my motto of leadership. My Journey at Adagio Premium the Palm makes me believe it deeply.
From the time of pre-opening until now, everyone takes the paddle and play their rolls eagerly. I got full encouragement and support from my General Manager, leadership team and I try everyday to give back the same to them.
With empowerment, trust and support nothing is impossible.
Front Office Manager
slide 1 of 3 Meet Hussain "Growing is all about learning." Being part of Adagio Premium the Palm taught me to be proud of myself. During the pre-opening stage I was not confident enough to come as I am. Gradually my manager, team leaders and colleagues taught me to be confident and use my charisma and true power to serve our guests, and to make this as part of our service promise, to be unique! I have learnt that teamwork and hunger of learning is required to be successful, that’s why I try my best every day to achieve my goals while sharing responsibilities with my team! Guest Service Agent
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
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.
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.
CCFA kick-starts conservation efforts in AfricaMore 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.