Four Seasons president and CEO John Davison announces retirement

by | 21 Oct 2021 | Chains

John Davison, who guided luxury hospitality company Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts through the turbulent early days of the pandemic, intends to hand over the reins next year.

Changes are afoot at the top of one of the travel industry’s biggest players.

A transition of leadership

The current president and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, John Davison, has informed the board of directors of his plans to retire from the role in 2022. At the same time, he’s accepted an appointment to sit on the company’s board of directors.

“I’ve been tremendously honoured and grateful to work alongside our board, executive leadership team and more than 40,000 talented, dedicated employees worldwide as we continue to navigate the historic challenges brought about by the pandemic,” said Davison. “With our long-term strategic planning process well underway, now is an ideal time to begin the process of handing over the reins to a new CEO who will have the duration and runway to shape and implement execution of our plans in the years ahead.

“As we look forward to the future, I am more confident than ever that Four Seasons is well-positioned to capitalise on the many growing opportunities within the luxury market globally. I am incredibly grateful to my colleagues worldwide for their unwavering dedication and commitment and look forward to continuing to do all I can to support Four Seasons in the next chapter of its remarkable history.”

A lasting impact

Davison’s decision has been backed by Bill Gates’ investment firm Cascade Investment, Kingdom Holding Company – led by Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal – and Isadore Sharp’s Triples Holdings, which each have significant stakes in the business.

“John has been an incredible partner since he joined Four Seasons two decades ago,” said Michael Larson, chief investment officer of Cascade Investment. “A steadfast and strategic business leader, he has led significant growth of the organisation for the benefit of all stakeholders. With his deep financial and operational insight, John has guided the company through some of its biggest challenges, always championing the people and culture of Four Seasons and leading with empathy and integrity.

“In particular, John’s leadership as CEO guiding the company throughout the pandemic was exceptional, reaffirming the values and commitment to excellence that define Four Seasons. We are grateful for his service and look forward to his continued commitment to Four Seasons in his capacity as a Cascade-appointed board director.”

Davison has held several leadership roles since joining Four Seasons in 2002, becoming CFO in 2005 and interim CEO in 2018 before being permanently appointed to the position in 2019. He previously spent 14 years at Imax Corp, where he rose to president, COO and CFO.

He will continue to lead Four Seasons until a new CEO has been identified and onboarded in 2022.

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Four Seasons is a Canadian-based company that manages an international portfolio of luxury five-star hotels and resorts.

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