The Wharf Group announced a management change at its subsidiary Marco Polo Hotels. Mr. Eric Waldburger will assume the role of President, Marco Polo Hotels in mid-July.
Mr. Waldburger is one of Asia’s most experienced hoteliers having held senior executive and management positions with Harbour Plaza Hotels, Ritz Carlton, Peninsula Hotels and Mandarin Oriental. With his 38 years of hotel operating experience in Asia, Mr. Waldburger will focus on the company’s operational readiness given its current expansion plans in the region. Mr. Steve Kleinschmidt, the outgoing President, will take on the new advisory role of Vice Chairman – Asset Management from his new base in Canada and will focus on the investment portfolio of owned hotels and the strategic management of existing and new owned hotels.
Commenting on the appointment, Mr Peter Woo, Chairman of The Wharf (Holdings) Limited says, “Wharf is investing over HK$ 8 billion to build six new hotels in China. The number of hotels operated by Marco Polo will increase to over 20 in five years. We own and operate excellent hotels in Hong Kong, Mainland China, the Philippines and Thailand. In Hong Kong, our three hotels on Canton Road have performed exceptionally well and are an integral part of the Harbour City complex. Many of our mixed use complexes in China will see outstanding hotel properties as part of these exciting new projects. We are developing an overall portfolio of 125 million square feet of properties in China. They currently represent more than a third of our total assets."
"I am very pleased to join Marco Polo Hotels as the chain embarks on its expansion plans in the region. Marco Polo is well recognized as one of Asia’s leading hotel brands and I look forward to contributing to the company’s growth. The hospitality industry in the Asia Pacific region generally and China specifically, is the most dynamic in the world with outstanding opportunities going forward,” said Mr. Waldburger.
Mr. Kleinschmidt joined Marco Polo Hotels as President in October 2007. He has led the company's operations and development, contributing to its rapid expansion over the past five years.“We are very excited by our prospects in the hotel industry and I am excited to take on this new dimension and continue my association with Marco Polo’s future development,” said Mr. Kleinschmidt. "Wharf is expanding its development of luxury hotels and Marco Polo has seen its portfolio of management properties expand over the past five years. Mr. Eric Waldburger is an excellent choice for Marco Polo Hotels. His luxury sector and hotel opening experience will be essential as the Company plans for and opens outstanding new properties in key regional locations."