Abercrombie & Kent Group has appointed experienced hospitality leader Michael Wale as its new president and chief executive officer.
Currently based in Dubai, Wale will move to Monaco to take up the new role, effective 1 October.
He joins the global luxury travel company from Kerzner International, owner of the Atlantis and One&Only Resorts brands, where he was chief executive.
Before joining Kerzner, Wale’s career spanned almost 40 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, including as president for Europe, Africa & Middle East, where he oversaw the operations of 250 hotels and resorts across its 10 brands in 60 countries.
“I am thrilled to be joining the team at Abercrombie & Kent at this pivotal time in the company’s history,” said Wale. “I have travelled with A&K before and understand its distinctive approach to luxury experiential travel.”
Founded by Geoffrey Kent and his parents in 1962, A&K now has 55 on-site offices in more than 30 countries, but operates trips in 100. Kent remains in place as co-chairman of A&K.
The company is majority owned by Heritage Group, a private group investing in tourism and other industries under chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, who is also co-chairman of A&K alongside Kent.
“With Michael, Abercrombie & Kent will start an exciting new chapter,” Lefebvre said.
“When guests book a holiday with us, they know we will guide them to amazing places, but the destination is a given. What they expect from us – and what keeps them coming back – is how we go the extra mile. Michael’s extensive experience in guest services and operations will take what A&K is known for to the next level.”
“Michael has a remarkable track record of steering leading luxury brands towards unequalled heights,” Kent added. “We look forward to working with him to elevate Abercrombie & Kent’s profile and achieve even higher standards of excellence.”
“I look forward to working with Geoffrey and Manfredi, two titans of the travel industry, to build a bright future for our guests, partners and staff,” Wale said.
Wale will continue his association with Kerzner International, joining the board of the company.