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New leadership at Steigenberger Hotels: André Witschi takes over

by | 13 May 2020 | Chains

Steigenberger Hotels’ new chairman of the board, André Witschi. (Photo: Steigenberger)

After the departure of Ralf Corsten, André Witschi takes over the role of chairman of the board at Steigenberger Hotels.

At its first meeting in 2020, Steigenberger Hotels AG’s board announced a change in its leadership.

We find out which hospitality veteran is taking over and why he’s a familiar face.

Steigenberger gets new chairman of the board

Ralf Corsten resigned from his position as chairman of the board at Steigenberger after having successfully brokered the company’s recent change in ownership which was finalised in January 2020.

André Witschi, who previously served as CEO of Steigenberger Hotels AG from 2008 to 2010, will succeed him.

Thanking a great action-taker and visionary

“With his personality and expertise, Ralf Corsten shaped not only the company Deutsche Hospitality but the entire tourism industry,” said Ji Qi, founder and CEO of Huazhu, the main shareholder of Steigenberger Hotels AG. “We have the deepest respect for this achievement and thank him for being a true action-taker and visionary.”

Corsten, born in 1942 in Ruhpolding, has been associated with the hotel industry for many years. As managing director of Kempinski and as a consultant with his company Continental Hotel Consultants, he has gained a wealth of experience at home and abroad.

This proved valuable to him while he served on the board of the Interhotel chain from the German Democratic Republic from 1990 to 1992 and led its privatisation.

In 1992 Corsten was appointed CEO of Tui, one of Germany’s largest travel operators. After his departure in 2003, he led the board of Steigenberger Hotels AG, which has been under the umbrella brand Deutsche Hospitality since 2016.

Lausanne, Sausalitos and Accor

André Witschi has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne since 1999 and became its president in 2011. He also sits on the boards of numerous foundations and businesses including companies such as Romantik Hotels and Sausalitos GmbH.

Witschi joined Accor Hotels in 1991 as Managing Director of Ibis Germany. After being named Hotelier of the Year, Witschi then took on the role of VP of Europe at Accor Hotels in 1999 and became a member of Accor S.A.’s board. In 2003, Witschi became CEO of Accor Germany and oversaw its 430 hotels.

From 2008 to 2010, Witschi was CEO of Steigenberger Hotels AG. After the company’s sale, he served as a member of various boards including that of Lindner Hotels AG in Düsseldorf, Scandic Hotels in Stockholm, and Build S.A. (B&B Hotels) in Paris.

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