CHINA’S Jin Jiang hotel chain, a force in the local market but not internationally, has hired former Banyan Tree Group senior vice president and managing director hotel operations, Bernold O. Schroeder, as CEO to spearhead the charge overseas.
TTG Asia e-Daily understands that Jin Jiang’s over 100 three- to five-star hotels were previously under an international vice president operations, but with its ambition to be “a truly international chain” within the next few years, Jin Jiang created the new CEO position, which has the full P&L responsibility, comprehensive brand strategy and international development for the star-rated hotels.
Its JinJiang Inns, of which there are 550 or so, are under a separate leadership team.
Contacted by TTG Asia e-Daily, Schroeder, who started on August 1 based in Shanghai, said his priority was “to strengthen first the operation (in China), create a strong brand position and superb sales and marketing platform. With this three platforms, we will have a good base to go international”.
Jin Jiang is also creating and establishing a ‘J’ brand, the first hotel of which is under construction in Pudong, and will be the world’s tallest when completed. The group also has a stake in luxury hotels such as the Fairmont Peace Hotel and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Shanghai, aside a 50 per cent ownership in the 240-property Interstate Hotels Group in the US.
Asked why he decided to join Jin Jiang, Schroeder said: “It will be an exciting journey and I see a lot of parallels with Banyan Tree, where I was for 14 years. I was for eight years their SVP/MD hotel operations, but also did development.
“Every country needs a ‘national’ hotel brand that internationally represents the country. Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Dubai, Japan etc all have this, but in China it is missing. Jin Jiang should occupy this space.”