CEO change imminent at Kempinski

Kempinski CEO Bernold Schroeder, who led the independent luxury hotel chain through one of its most challenging periods, is understood to be leaving the company in April 2024.

Speculation about his departure appeared in a report on October 18 in Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of the largest daily newspapers in Germany.

Bernold Schroeder, who joined Kempinski in 2017, may be leaving the company next year

According to the article, Schroeder has informed the Kempinski supervisory board of his wish to move on to other opportunities in the global hotel industry upon the end of his contract in April next year. However, the source of the information was not revealed while both Kempinski and Schroeder declined to comment.

TTG Asia was not able to reach Schroeder for comments at press time.

Schroeder first joined Kempinski in 2017 as vice chairman of the management board and COO Europe. He stepped into the role of interim CEO of Kempinski when the former CEO, Martin Smura, left in December 2020.

Aside from handling the crushing impact of the pandemic on the business, Schroeder also battled an apparent smear campaign against Kempinski by an unknown party in 2021, which might have affected the organisation. A Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award, presented to Kempinski in 2022 and 2023, however suggests the leadership was able to pull the team together.

When giving Schroeder the mandate to lead the group as CEO in September 2021, chairman of Kempinski supervisory board, Abdulla H Saif, said at the time in an official statement: “Bernold Schroeder has demonstrated his leadership qualities (as interim CEO) by successfully steering our company through a global pandemic and setting it on a course of sustained long-term growth and profitability as international travel resumes.”

In an interview earlier this year with this author about the group’s 2022 performance, Schroeder said that Kempinski had achieved record profits: “We are debt-free, with a strong balance sheet. We had record profits in 2022, the highest profits in the company’s history.”

Kempinski does not disclose financial figures.

Schroeder also shared continued development focus in Asia in his October profile interview with TTG Asia.

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