Marriott International has announced that Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director of the company’s Middle East and Africa division, will transition from the position effective December 31, 2019 to take up an executive advisory role.
“As Marriott’s head of Middle East and Africa, Alex has, in a short amount of time, propelled the company to new heights,” said Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer, Marriott International.
“His passion, tenacity and global mindset have driven our growth in the region. During his tenure, Marriott’s presence in MEA has grown seven-fold to 264 properties, with the number of associates exceeding 60,000.”
Mr Kyriakidis joined Marriott eight years ago as Marriott International’s first leader of MEA under the company’s newly established continent structure, which created four continental operating divisions.
During Mr Kyriakidis’ tenure, Marriott’s presence in MEA grew from 37 hotels in 10 countries and territories to 264 properties in 30 countries and territories, with a signed pipeline of 184 hotels.
Prior to joining Marriott, he spent over 38 years providing strategic, financial, M&A, operational, asset management and integration services to organizations in the travel, hospitality and leisure space as Global Managing Director – Travel, Hospitality and Leisure for Arthur Andersen and then Deloitte LLP.
During his years at Deloitte, Marriott was Mr Kyriakidis’ client for three decades.
Under his leadership, Marriott developed a hospitality training programme in the Middle East in response to a growing need for talent within the industry.
“Tahseen,” an Arabic word, which means to improve, enhance or enrich, focuses on fast tracking the next generation of hospitality leaders from Egypt, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by providing them with firsthand experience and a springboard to launch successful careers in the industry.
“The Tahseen programme is an excellent example of how Alex viewed the impact Marriott could have in the Middle East,” Sorenson said.
“For Alex, success in the region couldn’t solely be defined by hotel growth – it needed also to generate opportunities for people to grow careers in hospitality. Alex leaves us on a strong path for continued growth in the years ahead and with a rich and lasting legacy in this region.”
Mr Kyriakidis will lead the Middle East and Africa region for Marriott International through the end of the year and then will step into an executive advisory role for the company.
The company anticipates announcing its plans for the region shortly.
Mr Kyriakidis is a Fellow of the Arab Society of Certified Accountants, a Fellow of the British Association of Hotel Accountants, and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Leeds University in the United Kingdom. He is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.