Longtime Ritz-Carlton president to take position at Marriott

By Jeri Clausing

Simon CooperSimon Cooper, who has headed up Ritz-Carlton since Marriott International bought the luxury brand in 2001, is leaving Sept. 1 to become president and managing director of Marriott's Asia-Pacific division.

Herve Humler, one of the founders of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company with Horst Schulze, has been promoted to replace Cooper as president and COO of Ritz-Carlton.

The move comes almost a year after Marriott announced a major corporate restructuring that brings more of the operations of the Ritz-Carlton brand under the Marriott umbrella.

As part of that ongoing restructuring, Ed Fuller, who is president and managing director of international lodging for Marriott, will lead operations and growth in the Middle East and Africa.

Further announcements about the company’s restructuring and leadership are expected next month.

In his new role, Cooper will move to Hong Kong to oversee all Marriott brands in Asia, a region that has been a key focus of growth for Ritz-Carlton, Marriott and the hotel industry as a whole.

Marriott has more than 130 properties in the region and another 70 under development.

In postings on Twitter, Cooper said the new assignment “comes as the greatest opportunity of ones career. … As the Asian economy gets stronger and restrictions on travel are lifted, a whole new generation of travelers want to visit hotels in Asia.”’

In his new role, Fuller will also provide counsel on the company’s global growth strategy, the company said.

"Ed is highly respected throughout the industry and brings considerable expertise and contacts to our global operations,” said Marriott President and COO Arne Sorenson.

“As a 38-year Marriott veteran, he was a principle leader in growing the Marriott portfolio from 16 international hotels to more than 400 in 68 countries outside North America and expanding our brands into new markets."

Marriott plans to open 42 additional hotels in the Middle East and Africa region over the next three years

Cooper and Fuller will report to Marriott President and COO Arne Sorenson.

Humler, who will also oversee Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, will report to Robert McCarthy, Marriott International group president.

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