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Wolfgang M. Neumann to Succeed Kurt Ritter as CEO of Rezidor

The Rezidor Hotel Group today announced the appointment of Wolfgang M. Neumann as president & chief executive officer, effective January 1. Neumann currently serves as Rezidor’s executive vice president & chief operating officer. He succeeds Kurt Ritter, president & chief executive officer since 1989, who is retiring at the end of the year.

“We are pleased to announce the planned transition of Wolfgang M. Neumann as incoming President & CEO. He is an internationally experienced hotelier who will build on Rezidor’s strengths as an industry leader and valuable member of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group – with a continued focus on revenue generation and profitable growth,” said Trudy Rautio, Chairman of Rezidor’s Board of Directors and President & CEO of Carlson, in an announcement.

Rautio added: “Kurt Ritter is one of the hotel industry’s great leaders. We are grateful for the role he played in guiding the growth of Rezidor for more than two decades to be one of the fastest growing hotel companies. More recently he was instrumental in the integration of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group to become one of the largest and most dynamic hotel groups in the world”. Rautio noted that Ritter will assist Wolfgang M. Neumann as an advisor during a transition period of three months, and afterwards continue to serve as a key strategic advisor to herself.

Kurt Ritter (65) is one of the longest serving CEOs in the hospitality industry. Under his leadership, Rezidor’s portfolio grew to more than 430 hotels with 95,000 rooms in operation and under development in 70 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In announcing his transition, Ritter said, “I was fortunate to live my dream. I always wanted to become an hotelier and, looking back on more than 35 great years. I met inspiring people, negotiated exciting deals, and always enjoyed working in the service industry.”

Wolfgang M. Neumann joined Rezidor in May 2011. As he prepares to assume the CEO role, he stated: “I am honoured to succeed Kurt Ritter, and look forward to leading Rezidor in our ambitious Route 2015 strategy. We will continue to focus on meeting the needs of our guests, owners and shareholders while building with our team members on the unique culture of this dynamic company.”

Through Route 2015 – a comprehensive program launched in December last year – Rezidor aims to increase its EBITDA margin by 6 to 8 percent by the year 2015. The strategy puts a strong focus on revenue generation including: global strategic partnership activities with Carlson, cost-saving initiatives, accelerated asset management programs and further growth of the fee-based hotel portfolio – with a focus on new and emerging markets such as Russia/CIS and Africa.

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