The company founder, Gabriel Escarrer Juliá, is the Chairman and Gabriel Escarrer Jaume holds the position of Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
The Executive Vice Chairmen (EVP) compose the Senior Executive Team (SET) and lead the areas of Hotels, Club Meliá, Real Estate, Human Resources, Finance & Administration and Legal & Compliance.
The highest governing body is the Board of Directors.
Major changes will not be successful if they are not built upon on solid foundations: a great team of 38,000 people which includes some of the finest professionals in the business. The names and positions of the Meliá Hotels International senior management team are indicated below:
Gabriel Escarrer Juliá
Founder and Chairman Chairmanship
Gabriel Escarrer Juliá was 21 when he founded what is now Meliá Hotels International group in 1956. He bought and managed a 60-room hotel on the island of Mallorca, from where he still chairs one of the most successful hotel companies in the world. He had previously spent six years studying Tour Operations and learned that he could lease small hotels and fill them with guests, while their proprietor retained ownership, thus creating greater financial security.
As a result of his vast experience in the tourist industry, Gabriel Escarrer Juliá has received numerous acknowledgements which demonstrate his important contribution to the national and international hotel business. One of those which moved him most was the honorary doctorate he received from Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB) in December 1988. That same year he had already won the Tourist Personality of the Century prize, which was awarded to him by a vast majority of respondents to a survey conducted on 300 managers and professionals in the sector.
A year later, he received three other prestigious acknowledgements: Best Businessman in Construction and Property Development, awarded by the Masters programme in Construction and Property Company Management (Dirección de Empresas Constructoras e Inmobiliarias, M.D.I.) in conjunction with the magazine Actualidad Económica; Hotelier of the Year - Corporate Hotelier of the World, awarded by the famous North American publication Hotels; and the Lifetime Achievement award from the International Hotel Investment Forum.
In May 2001, Escarrer was elected to become a member of the British Travel Industry’s exclusive Hall of Fame. He was put forward and approved as a candidate by some of the most important references in international tourism, as well as by relevant members of the Hall of Fame, including Martin Brackenbury (Federation of Tour Operators and Airtours), Richard Branson (Virgin), Michael Bishop (British Midland) and David Crossland (Airtours).
That same year, Escarrer became part of the Conrad N. Hilton's Hotel Management Hall of Honor at Houston University (USA), sharing honours with Lynn and Ed Hogan (Pleasant Holidays), Alice Sheets Marriott (Marriott Corporation) and Marilyn Carlson Nelson (Carlson Companies).
In 2002, Meliá Hotels International signed an agreement with Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB) to set up the Meliá Chair in Tourism Studies (Cátedra Meliá de Estudios Turísticos), which, among other initiatives, includes the annual ceremony for the Gabriel Escarrer International Tourism Studies Award (Premio de Estudios Turísticos Gabriel Escarrer).
Escarrer was recognised for his professional record by Conferencia Iberoamericana de Ministros y Empresarios Turísticos (CIME) and in 2006, to coincide with the company's 50th anniversary, he received the highest commendation to be awarded by the authorities of the Balearic Islands - Medalla de Les Illes Balears - in acknowledgement of his work, as well as the Medal of the Chamber of Commerce of Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera. In 2011, Escarrer received the Lifetime Achievement award at the European Hospitality Awards in London, also in recognition of his long career as the founder and leader of Spain's largest hotel company. In 2012, MKG awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards in Paris and he received the prestigious Ulysses Award for Lifetime Achievement from the UNTWO.
Gabriel Escarrer Jaume
Vice Chairman and CEO
In 1993, Gabriel Escarrer Jaume graduated from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (USA), where he specialized in “Finance & Business Management”. He then studied a personalized Postgraduate degree at ESADE, one of the top ten business schools in Europe.
Prior to joining Meliá Hotels International he worked for more than three years in the Corporate Finance Department of the investment bank Salomon Brothers in New York.
After participating in the successful IPO of the company in 1996, Gabriel Escarrer Jaume led the strong impetus in the company’s expansion and technological transformation, providing Meliá greater financial strength in an increasingly complex environment in the international tourism sector. Now as CEO, position to which he was appointed in 1999,Gabriel Escarrer has addressed another major challenge, launching an ambitious plan to remodel the hotel portfolio, and since then has continued to fight for maintain Melia’s leading position in the Spanish hotel industry, and further expanding the company internationally.
Escarrer combines a strong vision and financial approach, due to his strong background and track record in this field which lead him to chair a body such as the Advisory Board of BBVA in the Levante region of Spain, with a pure "hotel" vocation with concerns such as customer orientation, service innovation and experiences, diversification and monitoring of the latest trends.
Since 2009, Gabriel Escarrer has assumed the positions of Executive Vice President and CEO of Meliá Hotels International, consolidating its leadership through the company’s effective response to the international crisis and the management of unprecedented cultural and organizational change with a net positive balance in the corporate and human levels, increasing financial consolidation and a steady expansion of its brands both in its traditional markets and in new markets.
As CEO of a responsible family business, Gabriel Escarrer has continued to promote the policy of corporate responsibility and sustainability in its social, economic and environmental dimensions and the ethics and corporate values that should underpin the actions of a company that, as a leader and industry benchmark, assumes greater visibility and accountability. Meliá is leading the tourism sector in Corporate Reputation (2013 MERCO) and has launched flagship projects such as the restructuring and repositioning of a mature tourist destination such as Magaluf in Mallorca. The project, called Calviá Beach, has received the Tourist Merit Plaque from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, and Gabriel Escarrer was named Entrepreneur of the Year 2013.
His future priorities include promoting an unprecedented internationalization plan and equating the company with large multinational chains, expanding the company’s horizons and thus increasing the value Meliá represents for all its stakeholders.
André P. Gerondeau is global head of hotel operations and the Group's brand portfolio.
He joined the company in the Dominican Republic in 1997 and has since assumed the responsibilities of Regional Director - France & Belgium and later, Vice-President of America and the Caribbean. He was promoted to his current position in 2007, taking a major role in the design of the different strategic plans of the Company, aimed to reinforce the Company's brand equity, foster international expansion, and enhance the Group's positioning as an international hotel management company.
He also oversees global regional strategies and is responsible for the Sales & Marketing Group strategy, innovation and brand development.
André Gerondeau studied at CESSA Universidad in Mexico City and the Hilton College for Hotel & Restaurant Management and has over 25 years of experience in various international groups in Latin America and the U.S., including Grupo Posadas and Camino Real – Westin Hotels.
EVP Real Estate
EVP Human Resources
Gabriel Cánaves joined the company in 1969, as a key aid to the Chairman and Founder, Gabriel Escarrer. In his time at the company, he has filled the positions of EVP Labor Relations, EVP Human Resources and EVP Cuban Division. He is in charge of the company’s growth in Cuba where Meliá Hotels International now has a significant presence. During his more than 40 years with the company, Gabriel Cánaves has developed strong negotiation, management, team leadership and crisis management skills.
Juan Ignacio Pardo
EVP Legal & Compliance
Juan Ignacio Pardo graduated in Law from the Autonomous University of Madrid and went on to complete a Masters in European Studies at Alcalá de Henares - Paris Sorbonne (Cum Laude doctorate studies) and a Masters in Legal Consultancy for Construction and Property Companies. He began his professional career at Dragados y Construcciones as Head of Legal Services. In 1991, he joined the Meliá Hotels International team as Legal Advice Manager and currently heads up the Legal & Compliance department which encompasses Legal Consultancy, Corporate Governance, Internal Auditing, and Risk Control and Analysis for the company worldwide.
Additionally, Juan Ignacio Pardo is the Vice Secretary of the Board of Directors of Meliá Hotels International, a member of the Intellectual Property Commission of the Spanish hotel association, Federación Hotelera de España (FHE), a member of the legal group of the Balearic Islands’ hotel association, Federación Hotelera de las Islas Baleares, and a member of the group Círculo Economía Balear, among others.
EVP Finance & Administration
Pilar Dols graduated in Economics and Business from the University of the Balearic Islands. She joined the Meliá Hotels International team in 1985, where she has developed her entire career. Over the years she has taken on different responsibilities within the Administration and Tax departments, both nationally and internationally. In 2007 she was appointed Senior Vice President of Corporate and Fiscal Administration and in April 2011 she was named Executive Vice President of Finance & Administration.