The announcement follows an extensive global search overseen by the private company's long-term shareholders, Kingdom Holding Company, Cascade Investment and Triples Holdings. Mr. Smith, age 56, will take up his new position on September 23, 2013.
Mr. Smith has served as CEO of Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI), one of the world's largest real estate investment managers, since 2008. Under his leadership, PREI expanded its global presence, which today consists of 23 offices worldwide and $53 billion in real estate assets under management, including many hotels. Mr. Smith joined Prudential in 1987 as a member of its hotel investment group after earning his master's degree from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. Over the course of his career with Prudential, his responsibilities expanded beyond hotel investing to include all commercial property types and all facets of the real estate investment business including strategic planning, organizational development, capital partner relations, portfolio management, corporate finance and business operations.
Four Seasons was founded in 1960 by Isadore Sharp, who built the Company into the global icon it is today, with 91 properties in 38 countries complemented by a strong development pipeline. The Company was taken private in 2007 by its long-term shareholders. With their support, Four Seasons is expanding its leadership position by accelerating execution of its existing growth strategy to further strengthen its iconic brand, while creating new opportunities for its loyal guests, employees, and hotel owner partners worldwide.