Management structure

Gabriel Escarrer Jaume is the Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Meliá Hotels International.

Escarrer represents the second generation of the founding family. His father, Gabriel Escarrer Juliá, created Meliá Hotels International in 1956, and over six decades made it one of the most important hotel chains in the world. In 2016, the founder relinquished his executive role and became Non-Executive Chairman, also maintaining the Chairmanship of the Board of Directors and Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.

Chairmanship

  • Gabriel Escarrer Juliá

    Founder and Non-Executive Chairman

    In 1956, Gabriel Escarrer Juliá was only 21 years old when he founded what is now Meliá Hotels International, acquiring and managing a 60-room hotel on the island of Majorca, where he was born, and where he still maintains the headquarters of what has now become one of the most successful hotel companies in the world. For the 5 years before that, Escarrer worked in tour operations and got his first taste of the emerging tourism industry, of which he would later become a visionary, pioneer and transforming entrepreneur.

    Over his six decades as Chairman, the company consolidated its leadership in Spain, the birthplace of European holiday travel, and extended it to the American Caribbean and Southeast Asia, as well as to Europe, regions where it continues to grow and is now acknowledged as one of the leading hotel groups. Over these years, Escarrer formed a number of strategic alliances that strengthened the company positioning in destinations such as Cuba and Indonesia, and in the 1990s, after several acquisitions of medium-sized and large hotel chains, Meliá extended its operations to urban hotels in Spain, Europe, Asia and America. During the same period, the company IPO brought with it a new stage of growth which was strengthened by strategic planning and the debut of the second generation of family members in management, marking the beginning of a profound cultural transformation to prepare it to face the challenges of a new business environment in the 21st century.

    One of the high spots in the history of the Company took place in the 80s, when the Group founded by Escarrer acquired two of the most important hotels chains in Europe at that time: Hotasa and Meliá, representing an additional 70 hotels in just one year. With this acquisition, the Group obtained greater importance in the national and international markets, as well as stronger brand recognition.

    After emerging from the major financial crisis that shook the industry between 2008 and 2013, and after ensuring that the company was in very safe hands, Gabriel Escarrer Juliá resigned his executive powers in December 2016, transferring control to his son Gabriel Escarrer Jaume as Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, with the elder Escarrer assuming the role of Non Executive Chairman, as well as remaining as Chairman of the Board of Directors and of the Annual General Shareholders' Meeting.

    As a result of his extensive experience in the travel industry, Gabriel Escarrer Juliá has received numerous awards that acknowledge his important contribution to Spanish and international hospitality. One of the most emotive for the founder of Meliá Hotels International was the achievement of a Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) in December 1988. As early as 1998 he received the "Tourist Personality of the Century" award, winning a large majority in a survey of 300 travel industry professionals.

    A year later he received more prestigious awards such as the “Best Entrepreneur in Construction and Real Estate Promotion” from the Masters in Management of Construction and Real Estate Companies and the "Actualidad Económica" magazine, “Corporate Hotelier of the Year" from the well-known American "Hotels" magazine, and several Lifetime Achievement Awards from such prestigious organizations as the International Hotel Investment Forum, the World Tourism Organization and the European Hospitality Awards.

    In May 2001, Escarrer was selected to join the exclusive "Hall of Fame" of the British Travel Industry. His candidacy was proposed and endorsed by some of the most important people in the international tourism industry, as well as existing members of the Hall of Fame such as Martin Brackenbury (Federation of Tour Operators and Airtours), Richard Branson (Virgin), Michael Bishop (British Midland) and David Crossland (Airtours). That same year, the Chairman of Meliá Hotels International joined the “Hall of Honor” at the Conrad N. Hilton School of Hotel Management at the University of Houston (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 the Balearic Islands University to create the "Meliá Chair in Tourism Studies", which has ever since organized an annual "Gabriel Escarrer Tourism Studies Award

    Gabriel Escarrer received acknowledgement for his career from the Ibero-American Conference of Tourism Ministers and Entrepreneurs in 2006, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the company, and also obtained the Balearic Islands Medal, the highest distinction of his local community, in recognition of his work, and the Chamber of Commerce Medal of Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera. In 2011, Escarrer received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the European Hospitality Awards in London in recognition of his long career as founder of the largest hotel in Spain and third largest in Europe. In 2012 MKG also awarded him an award at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards in Paris, and he also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Tourism Organization. In 2016, he entered the Hall of Fame of the Hotel-E Investment Conference, one of the most important international hotel investment forums, and was also named Honorary Ambassador of Brand Spain.

    Recognized as one of the key figures in the history of international tourism, Gabriel Escarrer continues to contribute the experience and know-how acquired over more than 60 years as non-executive Chairman of Meliá Hotels International and Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Annual General Meeting. He also maintains intact his faith for the transforming power of tourism in society, an industry that that he believes "unites countries, crosses borders, and promotes social and economic welfare." 

  • Gabriel Escarrer Jaume

    Vice Chairman and CEO

    Gabriel Escarrer Jaume graduated in Finance and Business Management in 1993 from the prestigious Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (USA). He then worked for 3 years in the International Corporate Finance Department at the Salomon Smith Barney Investment Bank in New York. From there, in 1996, he took part in the successful IPO of Meliá Hotels International, founded by his father, Gabriel Escarrer Juliá, before going on to join the company immediately afterwards, simultaneously working on a tailor-made postgraduate Business Administration degree at ESADE, one of the top ten business schools in Europe.

    Gabriel Escarrer Jaume led a strong surge in company growth and a major technological transformation, providing Meliá with greater corporate strength in an increasingly complex environment in the international travel industry. As Chief Executive Officer, a position to which he was appointed in 1999, Gabriel Escarrer addressed another major challenge, launching an ambitious plan to renew and reposition the company’s hotel assets. Ever since then he has worked tirelessly to ensure that Meliá retains its leadership in the Spanish hotel industry and extends and enhances its international positioning

    Escarrer combines a strong vision and financial rigour, supported by solid training and a career in the field that has led him to be named Chairman of the Advisory Council of BBVA in the Levante Region, with the vocation and concerns of a true hotelier, such as customer focus, innovation in services and experiences, or diversification and monitoring of the latest trends

    As Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Meliá Hotels International since 2009, Gabriel Escarrer has consolidated his leadership through the company's effective response to the international financial crisis and the management of an unprecedented cultural and organizational change, with a net positive balance at the corporate and team levels seen through increasing financial consolidation and the constant growth of its brands in both traditional and new and emerging markets.

    In 2016, after 60 years at the helm of the company, its founder became Non-Executive Chairman, transferring his executive powers to Gabriel Escarrer Jaume with the unanimous support of the Board of Directors. Escarrer retains the positions of Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, making him the senior executive within the company.

    As a leader of a responsible, family company, Gabriel Escarrer has always encouraged corporate responsibility and sustainability in all of the company’s social, economic and environmental dimensions, and the ethics and corporate values that support the performance of a company with greater public visibility and responsibility due to its leadership of the industry.

    Thanks to all this, Meliá is the leader in Corporate Reputation in the travel industry according to the prestigious MERCO ranking (a position it has held for 5 consecutive years) and has launched emblematic reconversion and repositioning projects for mature travel destinations such as Magaluf in Mallorca and Torremolinos in Malaga, or the repositioning of the Palma’s Sea Façade, after being commissioned to manage the new and gorgeous Congress Palace in Palma de Mallorca, amongst others.

    The first of these projects, named Calviá Beach, has received the Tourism Merit Award from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, while his support for the repositioning of Torremolinos led to him being named Tourism Personality of the Year in 2016. Both projects exemplify the company’s renewed commitment to resort hotels, a segment which Meliá has led ever since the 1950s, as well as its commitment to the renewal and transformation of the industry in the twenty-first century

    One of the most influential CEO’s in Spain, among his future priorities are an unprecedented international growth plan to match the major multinational hotel chains, expanding the horizons of the company and thus the value of Meliá for all its stakeholders, without forgetting the solid family values that have allowed the company to remain a market leader for over six decades, 

Senior Executive Team (SET)

Escarrer Jaume leads the Senior Executive Team, a collegial executive management body comprising the senior executives of the company’s major global areas: Operations and Club Meliá, Real Estate, Finance and Administration, Human Resources, and Legal & Compliance, leading a team of more than 44.500 employees at the global and regional levels:

  • André Gerondeau

    Chief Operating Officer

    André P. Gerondeau is global head of hotel operations and the Company’s Vacation Club business, as well as being in charge of the management, innovation and development of the Group’s Brand portfolio. He is also responsible for Development and the areas of Marketing and Distribution.

    In order to control all these areas, he leads the Operations Committee, a highly professional team comprising all the regional and global heads who report to him directly.

    He joined the company in the Dominican Republic in 1997 and has since assumed the responsibilities of Regional Director - France & Belgium and later, Senior Vice-President of North America and the Caribbean. He transferred to Spain in 2007 as Executive Vice-President Hotels, directing the Group’s hotel operations until assuming his new position as Chief Operating Officer in 2016 following the reorganisation of the structure and functions of the Senior Executive Team by the Company’s Board of Directors.

    During the past decade, André has played a leading role in the design of the Company’s various strategic plans, with the aim of strengthening the Group’s brand strategy, promoting international development and reinforcing Meliá’s position amongst the leading international hotel management groups

    He has also been responsible for initiating the Company’s commercial transformation in accordance with the new digital paradigm, and the innovation of the hotel products and services in the various segments and categories.

    André studied at CESSA Mexico City and the Hilton College for Hotel & Restaurant Management. He has over 25 years of experience in various international groups in Latin-America and the United States, such as the Posadas Group and Camino Real-Westin Hotels.

  • Mark Hoddinott

    Chief Real Estate Officer

    With a Degree in Economics from Durham University in the UK and certified as a Chartered Accountant by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales, Mark Hoddinott joined the Company in 1998 as the Senior Director of Administration and Internal Audit. Previously, Mark had worked as an auditor for four years with Price Waterhouse Coopers in London and Barcelona before going on to develop extensive experience in the Spanish real estate and hotel industries as a Financial Director in three different companies.

    In 2007 he was named Executive Vice President of Hospitality Business Services (HBS), a position from which he led the creation of the first company Shared Services Centre after unifying Administration, Personnel Management and IT services. The progress and efficiency achieved in these areas were key factors which allowed Meliá to emerge from the worst financial crisis in the travel industry even stronger than it was before.

    In 2011, after a major organizational restructuring and the launch of a process of cultural transformation, Mark Hoddinott became Executive Vice President of the new Real Estate area, bringing together key strategic functions such as real estate portfolio management, asset management, works and maintenance, and global purchasing, as well as the management of company alliances and joint ventures.

    Under his leadership the company designed the asset strategy that would accompany the transition of Meliá Hotels International to an asset-light business model based on growth through management agreements. Over recent years, he has also led the consolidation of a portfolio of Joint Ventures with first-class investors as a lever for the growth and transformation of the company, as well as a profound renovation and repositioning of the Meliá Hotels International portfolio and certain mature travel destinations in which the company holds a dominant position.

    After the Board of Directors adjusted the structure and functions of the Senior Executive Team in 2016, Hoddinott was named Chief Real Estate Officer. In addition to his extensive experience in the company and deep knowledge of finance and the travel industry, Mark brings a strategic vision and extraordinary ability to maximize long-term value creation opportunities for the company and all of its strategic investment partners. 

  • Gabriel Cánaves

    Chief Human Resources Officer

    Gabriel Cánaves joined the company in 1969, becoming a major source of support for the Chairman and founder Gabriel Escarrer, who had created the company in 1956.

    During his long career in the company he has held the positions of Director of Industrial Relations, Director of Human Resources and Director of the Cuba Division, also assuming responsibility for company growth in Cuba, a country in which Meliá Hotels International now enjoys a significant presence.

    In 2007 he was appointed Executive Vice President of Human Resources, a position he combines with that of Regional Vice President for Cuba, the country where Meliá Hotels International has most hotels after Spain. Over the last decade he has relaunched talent management as a strategic function in the company’s strong international expansion, and has also led a significant company reorganization based on efficiency criteria, leading an extensive process of cultural transformation that has allowed Meliá to come out of the worst financial crisis the travel industry has ever seen even stronger than before.

    In 2016, after a redesign of the structure and functions of the Senior Executive Team, the Board of Directors named him Chief Human Resources Officer, covering Organization and Compensation, Global Human Resources (Corporate/Hotels), Industrial Relations, Health and Safety, and Personnel Administration. In addition to these functions, his responsibilities also include supervision of the implementation of Human Resources functions in the different regions

    In addition to his extensive experience and deep knowledge of the industry, Gabriel Cánaves also has strong skills in negotiation, team management and leadership, and crisis management, which he has developed and consolidated over a successful 40-year career in the company. 

  • Pilar Dols

    Chief Financial Officer

    Pilar Dols holds a degree in Economics and Business Studies from the University of the Balearic Islands. She joined the Meliá Hotels International team in 1985, and has spent her entire career with the company. Over these years she has held different domestic and international responsibilities in the Administration and Tax departments.

    In 2007 she was named Senior Vice President of Corporate and Tax Management, actively participating in the creation of the Shared Services Center and contributing to the company's effective response to the worst ever financial crisis in the travel industry.

    In April 2011, coinciding with a company reorganization and the launch of a profound process of cultural transformation, Pilar was named Executive Vice President of Hospitality Business Solutions (HBS), an area that included Administration, Tax, Personnel Management and IT services.

    At the beginning of 2013 she was named Executive Vice President Finance & Administration after the merger of HBS and Finance. Since then she has led this area which includes such relevant functions as Management Control, Business Intelligence, Investor Relations, Finance, Insurance, Administration, Tax and IT. She has led a strict control of costs and investments to achieve the debt reduction targets defined by the company, launched the Business Intelligence department to improve analytical capacity, and driven greater transparency in investor relations and in the market in general.

    In 2016 she was named Chief Financial Officer after the adjustments made by the Board of Directors to the structure and functions of the Senior Executive Team. Since 2015, Dols is also leading the company's digitalization project, which began with customer strategy and which is now working on ensuring that the project is applied to products and internal processes so that Meliá becomes a truly digitalized company. She is an invited participant in the Audit and Compliance Commission and leads the Investment Committee, a governing body that brings together all of the executives responsible for business and operational investments and risk management every quarter.

    In addition to her extensive knowledge of finance and the hotel industry, Pilar Dols brings extensive experience in Meliá Hotels International and a deep understanding of its values and commitment to its stakeholders as a listed company with a solid family base. 

  • Juan Ignacio Pardo

    Chief Legal and Compliance Officer

    Juan Ignacio Pardo holds a law degree from the Autonomous University of Madrid, a Master's Degree in European Studies from Alcalá de Henares - Paris Sorbonne (CUM LAUDE doctoral studies) and a Master's Degree in Legal Counseling in Construction and Real Estate from the Madrid Polytechnic University. He began his professional career in legal services at Dragados y Construcciones, S.A.

    In 1999, he joined the Meliá Hotels International team as Director of Legal Counsel, an area in which he became the senior executive in 2007 after being named Senior Vice President and later Executive Vice President of the area of Legal and Compliance. After the decisions agreed by the Board in 2016, he was renamed Chief Legal and Compliance Officer

    Juan Ignacio Pardo is also Deputy Secretary of the Board of Directors of Meliá Hotels International, Secretary of the Audit and Compliance Committee, and company spokesperson in the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and member of the Tourism Commission of the same. He is also a member of the Intellectual Property Commission of CEHAT, the Legal Commission of FEHM, and professor of Tourism Contracts for the Master’s Degree course at the University of the Balearic Islands.

REGIONAL STRUCTURE

In addition to global responsibilities, the company also has a Regional Vice President in each of the major geographic divisions under which it structures operations. All of them report hierarchically to the Chief Operating Officer and also have a functional report to the rest of the company’s global areas:

  • Álvaro Tejeda Schroeder

    Regional Vice President – Americas

    Recognized as a true veteran in the hotelier world, Alvaro joined Meliá Hotels International nearly twenty-seven years ago, and developed his career in all parts of the world. Starting in 1989 as Resident Manager in the Meliá Cabo real in Baja California, his career has taken him to Bali (Indonesia) Australia, Sao Paulo in Brazil, Mexico City, and again to Europe, where he managed the 700 rooms Meliá White House hotel in London and was promoted to Area Vice President for the Melia Brand for EMEA, and then, in 2009, as Vice President for the Group’s Premium portfolio, as well as was assigned the responsibility of all the operations in the Americas, based in the Corporate Office in Miami.

    His unrelenting focus on delivering consistent financial results, as well as his passion for outstanding quality of service and his love for challenge have been key for this remarkable career success. Alvaro comes from a culturally diverse background; having completed his degree in Hotel Business Administration at the Heidelberg Hotel Management School in Germany, he worked for other well-known hotel companies such as Holiday Inn in Germany, Residence Hotels or Panamericana Hotels. He fluently commands Spanish, English, German and Portuguese languages.

  • Enrique Ortiz

    Regional Vice President Europe, Middle East and Africa

    Enrique Ortiz has worked at Meliá Hotels International for the past 24 years. Born in Barcelona, after graduating in Economics and MBA from ESADE, he joined the leading Hotel Group in Spain in 1993. After occupying different managing positions in the Marketing and Sales areas - where he reached the position of Vice President-Sales for the Meliá brand, in 2011 he joined the Operations area as Vice President of Operations for the Company's premium brands in Europe, adding in 2013 the global responsibility for Operations in the area of EMEA, which, with 13 countries and representing the 17% of the portfolio, maintains an important focus on the expansion, with 21 hotels in the pipeline.

    The region currently contributes with 13% of the Group's Operating Profit, and it includes 4 of the main customer markets for the Company, such as Germany, United Kingdom, France and Italy, which account for more than 30% of its customers worldwide. Ortiz has satisfactorily managed the European hotel portfolio during the years of crisis, showing a strong resilience shown in spite of the incidences in tourist flows. 

  • Alfonso del Poyo

    Regional Vice President –Spain

    Alfonso del Poyo holds a degree in Tourism and Business Administration from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos I in Madrid. After more than 28 years as a member of Meliá Hotels International, Alfonso is, as Regional Vice President of the leading Hotel Company in Spain, one of the most important figures of the hotel industry in the Spanish capital, where he is frequently seen representing the group at institutional acts.

    Del Poyo was appointed Director of Operations of the Tryp Brand in 1998, and was later Head of Operations of other geographical areas such as Portugal, France, Belgium and Switzerland. Since 2007, he has held the position of Senior Vice President of Tryp Hotels, and since 2010 he has been Vice-President of the Regional Spain division of Meliá Hotels International. Spain (including the hotels in the Urban, Mediterranean and Premium Spain divisions) comprises 43% of the Company's total portfolio and contributes with 33% of total Operating Profit.

  • Carlos Martins

    Regional Vice President – Mediterranean

     Carlos Martins graduated from the Hospitality School in Madeira in 1980, and at the age of 21 he was appointed deputy director of the hotel, beginning a meteoric career that he, for some years, made compatible with the practice of journalism, public relations, and the management of a soccer team. In 1991 he obtained his Bachelor's degree in Hotel Management at the University of El Algarve INFT EHTA, being appointed General Manager of the Group with responsibility for his hotels throughout the Algarve, Madeira, Alentejo, Lisbon and Guinea-Bissau.

    In 1992 he started to manage Grupo Monumental, with magnificent results, and later the Savoy Hotels Group, until in 2007 he was invited to build and open Meliá's first five-star hotel in Portugal, and to serve as General Director of Operations in Portugal. He holds a Master's degree in Business Administration at the Institute of Tourism Planning and Development, and in 2010 he arrives the greatest challenge of his career until then: to lead and manage the largest investment of Meliá Hotels International, and the Group’s largest resort, outside the Caribbean: the Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora hotel, on the island of Tenerife. As General Manager of this large hotel, Martins obtains numerous national and international awards, and manages to position it in a few years as the Best Resort in Spain, and the one that contributed the most to the Group in Europe.

    In 2014, he is entrusted with the management of one of the major Divisions of the group, assuming the position of Regional Vice-President Mediterranean, leading as such, the renovation of its portfolio of resorts and the transformation of one of the Group's flagship brands, Sol Hoteles.

    With more than 35 years of dedication to the world of hospitality, Carlos Martins has won the Silver Medal for Tourist Merit, and was a finalist of the "Best General Manager Worldwide" in the Luxury Segment.

  • Bernardo Cabot Estarellas

    Regional Vice President- Asia Pacific

    Global Hospitality Executive with a proven track record of achieving topline financial goals, and maximizing revenues and stakeholder returns on investment.Extensive Experience in strategic Development and asset Management, Bernardo Cabot is a hotelier at heart, who has worked at Meliá Hotels International for the last 26 years, he leads the regional office in Shanghai since 2011, managing the hotel Company’s portfolio of upscale and luxury brands in China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mongolia, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar, and driving the Group’s solid expansion plans within the region, that has more than tripled its hotel portfolio in the last three years. He reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer worldwide, and indirectly to the CEO and Chairman of the Company. He is the Director of all the Asian Companies of Meliá Hotels International.

    Asia-Pacific currently represents only the 4% of the Company’s portfolio, but has the largest number of hotels in its pipeline: 21, and the most intensive growth is expected for the coming years.

  • Rui Manuel Oliveira

    Regional Vice President- Brazil

    Con más de 40 años de experiencia en la industria hotelera (21 de ellos en Meliá Hotels International) Rui Manuel Oliveira posee un currículo deslumbrante: graduado en Administración de Empresas en la Universidad de Sao Paulo, cursó varias especializaciones en el área de Dirección Hotelera de la prestigiosa Universidad de Cornell (Estados Unidos). Ha dirigido hoteles como Nikkey Palace, Transamérica, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn y Caesar Park en Sao Paulo. Entre 1988 y 1996 ocupó la Vice Presidencia de Operaciones para América del Sur en Westin Hotels & resorts, y fue Vicepresidente Ejecutivo del Grupo Caesar Park International.

    Entre 1996 y 2005 ocupó la Dirección general de Meliá Hotels International en el Cono Sur, y durante dos años también la de la División de América, desde Miami. Rui Manuel Oliveira tiene entre sus méritos el haber contribuido al crecimiento y consolidación de Meliá Hotels International en América del Sur, estando presente en Argentina, Perú, Venezuela, Colombia o Chile. Gracias al fuerte desarrollo que experimentó el portfolio del grupo en el país carioca, en 2005 fue nombrado Regional Vice President para Brasil, con la responsabilidad de todas las Operaciones en el país.

  • Gabriel Cánaves

    Regional Vice President – Cuba

    Gabriel Cánaves joined the company in 1969, becoming a major source of support for the Chairman and founder Gabriel Escarrer, who had created the company in 1956.

    During his long career in the company he has held the positions of Director of Industrial Relations, Director of Human Resources and Director of the Cuba Division, also assuming responsibility for company growth in Cuba, a country in which Meliá Hotels International now enjoys a significant presence.

    In 2007 he was appointed Executive Vice President of Human Resources, a position he combines with that of Regional Vice President for Cuba, the country where Meliá Hotels International has most hotels after Spain. Over the last decade he has relaunched talent management as a strategic function in the company’s strong international expansion, and has also led a significant company reorganization based on efficiency criteria, leading an extensive process of cultural transformation that has allowed Meliá to come out of the worst financial crisis the travel industry has ever seen even stronger than before.

    In 2016, after a redesign of the structure and functions of the Senior Executive Team, the Board of Directors named him Chief Human Resources Officer, covering Organization and Compensation, Global Human Resources (Corporate/Hotels), Industrial Relations, Health and Safety, and Personnel Administration. In addition to these functions, his responsibilities also include supervision of the implementation of Human Resources functions in the different regions

    In addition to his extensive experience and deep knowledge of the industry, Gabriel Cánaves also has strong skills in negotiation, team management and leadership, and crisis management, which he has developed and consolidated over a successful 40-year career in the company.