Shaza gets Kempinski hand to drive expansion

Regional hospitality brand Shaza Hotels yesterday said it has appointed Michel Novatin as the company's new Chief Executive Officer to lead its aggressive development plans across the region.

With more than 40 years of hospitality experience across many countries, Novatin is a seasoned hotel executive, having worked with some of the most-established global hotel brands, including Kempinski where he is presently Chief Operations Officer.

Novatin will replace Christopher Hartley, who will continue in his role as CEO of the Global Hotel Alliance, the world's largest alliance of independent hotel groups, which counts Kempinski and shortly Shaza Hotels as members.

Shaza's incumbent CEO confirmed that Novatin's appointment is an excellent move for Shaza, which will greatly benefit from his breadth of experience.

"With such a strong background in hotel operations and coming from such as senior position with our joint venture partner Kempinski, Michel will be an invaluable asset to Shaza as the company enters its critical operational phase and begins rolling out its aggressive development plans," said Hartley. Hartley will step down following a three-month handover period; however, he will continue to support Shaza Hotels in a non-executive capacity as vice-chairman of the board.

As CEO, Novatin will be responsible for overseeing the development of Shaza Hotel's business interests across the Middle East and North Africa region and Europe, as well as identifying new markets in which Shaza can develop its signature properties.

Novatin said: "I am delighted to take on this new challenge and look forward to help bring Shaza's distinctive brand to the next level as the company prepares to execute an aggressive timetable of new developments in the years to come."

Over the course of his career, Novatin has held a number of key senior positions in the hospitality industry.