Kerzner Names Michael Wale CEO

Former Starwood Hotels exec to lead Dubai-based developer’s expansion

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Michael Wale | Kerzner Intl. Holdings

Michael Wale. Photo: Courtesy of Kerzner Intl. Holdings

Kerzner Intl. Holdings has named Michael Wale ceo. The former Starwood Hotels & Resorts executive has joined the Dubai-based developer and operator in the midst of its ongoing expansion, including the growth of its luxury Atlantis and One&Only resort brands.

Wale spent nearly four decades at Starwood, having served as president for Europe, Africa and the Middle East in Brussels, Belgium, since June 2013. He’s also a notable philanthropist, having been named a Fellow of UNICEF in recognition of his work for Checkout for Children, which has raised more than $35 million to support water, sanitation and hygiene projects across Africa and the Middle East.

Wale’s hiring follows the exit of former Kerzner president and ceo Jean-Gabriel Pérès, who replaced 23-year company veteran Alan Leibman in August 2016. Pérès left the hotelier in June, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Wale, a U.K. native, is based in Dubai for his new role, which comes as Kerzner continues its growth.. The company’s $1.6 billion Atlantis, Sanya resort in China debuted earlier this month, and the recently revamped One&Only Le Saint Géran in Mauritius reopened in December. In addition, The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in Dubai and the Atlantis Ko Olina in Hawaii are currently under development.

“[Kerzner’s] also aggressively introducing new brands and experiences around the world, from China to Africa to Europe and beyond,” says Mohammed Al Shaibani, executive director and ceo of Investment Corp. of Dubai, and chairman of Kerzner Intl. “Michael’s been extremely successful in achieving outstanding guest satisfaction, building a world-class corporate culture and delivering strong financial results. Under his leadership, I look forward to the continued growth of Kerzner Intl. and an expanded strategic global footprint.”

Wale adds: “Both Atlantis and One&Only have established strong global consumer recognition and are perfectly poised for further innovation and strategic growth. I look forward to continuing to build and grow long-term relationships around the world.”