James Bermingham has been named CEO of Virgin Hotels.

Bermingham, a former Montage International executive, succeeds Raul Leal, who earlier this year said he was stepping down to pursue "new personal projects." Leal remains involved with Virgin Group as a brand and design advisor.

James Bermingham
James Bermingham

A 35-year hospitality veteran, Bermingham began his career with various executive roles at Sheraton before serving as general manager for properties like the St. Regis Hotel in Houston and the Montage Laguna Beach in California.

Most recently, he was executive vice president for operations for Montage International, overseeing owner relations, culture development and sales and marketing across the Montage and Pendry Hotel brands' seven hotels and resorts.

Bermingham's appointment comes amid a growth spurt for the Virgin Hotels brand, which launched in 2010. The flag, which currently has hotels operating in Chicago, Dallas and Nashville, has plans to debut three outposts in Las Vegas, New Orleans and New York this year. Additional projects in Miami and Edinburgh, Scotland, are in the pipeline.

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