Deutsche Hospitality appoints experienced new CFO

by | 10 Oct 2020 | General News, Portfolio

Dr Ulrich Johannwille (left) and Matthias Heck (right)

Dr Ulrich Johannwille will take over as Deutsche Hospitality’s new CFO and director of human resources on 1 November 2020 when incumbent Matthias Heck retires from the role.

German hotel group Deutsche Hospitality has appointed Dr Johannwille to one of its key leadership roles. We find out more about the departure of Heck and the impending arrival of his successor.

A company veteran steps down

After helping to shape the company’s corporate strategy for the last 15 years, Matthias Heck is now planning to retire from his role. He played a major role in Deutsche Hospitality’s international expansion, which included its first foray into the Middle East and Scandinavia.

Most recently, Heck worked with his fellow board member and CEO Thomas Willms on transferring shareholder ownership to Huazhu Hotels Group. Of course, he also played a key part in guiding the company through the current pandemic, overseeing the closure and reopening of the group’s hotels under today’s challenging circumstances.

“Matthias Heck has played an absolutely crucial role in the Deutsche Hospitality success story over the last 15 years,” stated André Witschi, chair of the supervisory board of Steigenberger Hotels. “I have the greatest respect for his remarkable achievements during an era which has seen a traditional German company turn into a brand of international renown.”

A new chapter at Deutsche Hospitality

His successor, Dr Johannwille, has held a variety of leadership positions in international hospitality and travel firms. These included a ten-year stint as chief financial officer and head of controlling at Condor Flugdienst, as well as heading the finance divisions of the four international Thomas Cook Group Airlines.

Prior to this, Dr Johannwille served as a consultant with McKinsey & Company for six years, where he rose to the status of associate principal. He also obtained a doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Münster in 2000.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming Dr Ulrich Johannwille as Deutsche Hospitality’s new CFO and director of human resources in November,” Witschi added. “Mr Johannwille can look back on many years of experience as CFO at Condor. He will offer just the kind of expertise and leadership qualities we are seeking as we embark on the next stages of Deutsche Hospitality’s expansion, positioning and further development.”


The unique and varied Deutsche Hospitality portfolio includes the Steigenberger Hotels & Resorts, Jaz in the City and IntercityHotels brands. Deutsche Hospitality was acquired by Chinese hotel operator and franchisor Huazhu Group in 2019.