The Rezidor Hotel Group has appointed Olivier Harnisch (45) as Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. Harnisch will succeed Wolfgang M. Neumann who is taking over from Kurt Ritter as the company’s new President & CEO.
Currently serving as Vice President, Northern and Central Europe at Hilton Worldwide, Harnisch will be based at Rezidor’s corporate support office in Brussels, Belgium and report directly to Wolfgang M. Neumann. He will also be a member of the group’s Executive Committee.
Harnisch will head Rezidor’s optimized, decentralized operational organization comprising the areas Nordics, Eastern Europe & Russia, Western Europe & North Africa, Central Europe, UK & Ireland, and Middle East & sub-Saharan Africa under the leadership of Area Vice Presidents. Across all these territories Rezidor’s portfolio of hotels in operation currently features 335 properties with 73,184 rooms.
Harnisch has both German and French nationality and holds a Master of Science in Organizational Behaviour from University of London; a Master of Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh; and a Degree in Hospitality Management from Berlin School of Hotel Administration. He attended further senior management courses at New York University, USA; Cornell University, Ithaca, USA; and University of Hagen, Germany.
He began his career within the hospitality business in flagships such as St. Regis New York and Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich. He joined Hilton in March 1999 as Director of Operations at Hilton Dresden. He afterwards served as General Manager of Hilton Madagascar and Hilton Zurich & Hilton Apart Hotel; and was promoted to Cluster General Manager of Hilton Munich Park & Hilton Munich City. In February 2008 he took over the corporate position as Vice President, Northern and Central Europe at Hilton Worldwide.