Virgin Hotels unveils new CEO

by | 20 Mar 2021 | Chains

Virgin Hotels has announced the appointment of James Bermingham, effective immediately, as the lifestyle hotel brand’s new chief executive officer.

Veteran Montage International executive James Bermingham has been tasked with leading Virgin Hotels, beginning by overseeing the brand’s strongest growth year to date.

New leadership for Virgin Hotels amid rapid expansion

The newly appointed CEO is joining the lifestyle brand following nearly two decades with Montage International. In this position, Bermingham will be responsible for delivering the brand’s global growth pipeline along with its multi-award-winning customer experience and brand culture.

“We are thrilled to welcome James into the Virgin Hotels family,” said Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. “For over a decade, we have been devoted to providing entertaining and unforgettable experiences for our guests, and I can think of no one better than James to spearhead this effort as we continue to grow the brand on a global scale.”

The arrival of Bermingham follows the recent news that Virgin Hotels’ long-serving CEO Raul Leal had decided to step down.

“James’ appointment comes at an exciting time of accelerating growth for us,” added Peter Norris, chairman of Virgin Hotels. “His decades of industry experience and acute global expertise will be a true asset for the brand as we push to expand our footprint both domestically and internationally.”

A wealth of experience to draw on

Bermingham, who assumes the post with immediate effect, brings with him more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He began his career in his hometown, Dublin, before spending ten years in London, during which time he held executive roles with ITT Sheraton Corporation.

He gained further experience in the US where he served as general manager at The St Regis Houston and Montage Laguna Beach. Since 2008, he has worked as executive vice president of operations for Montage International, overseeing all aspects of operations for the Montage and Pendry Hotel brands.

“I have long admired Virgin Hotels’ ability to seamlessly blend smart and innovative design with elevated service and – maybe most importantly – fun,” said Bermingham. “Watching the brand grow into itself as a reliable haven for both leisure and business travellers without sacrificing its inherent ‘cool factor’ has been exciting, to say the least, and I’m really looking forward to joining such a dynamic team.”

Virgin Hotels is looking ahead to a year of robust growth with openings in Las Vegas, New Orleans and New York City. Additional properties are in development in Miami and Edinburgh, with further opportunities in Philadelphia, Glasgow, Cannes, and Ibiza also being pursued.

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