Meet our 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 Middle East and Africa (MEA), 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.
Floor Bleeker Chief Information Officer “A good listener is a great leader. Always keep your door open so your team knows it’s ‘OK’ to talk.” Floor is the mastermind behind Accor’s Information Technology strategy in the region, prioritising the roll out of next-generation systems and platforms that optimise the performance and efficiency of every aspect of the business and seamlessly pave the way for Accor’s digital transformation.
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 8 of 9 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.
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Planet 21 Acting here in the Middle East & Africa Region
As the 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.
Click on the video link below to learn more about how the team at Mövenpick Hotel & Residences Nairobi supports their local community.