In a dramatic U-turn, Paul White, who resigned from his role as chief financial officer at Orient-Express Hotels in May, has returned to the company as chief executive officer.
White replaces Simon Sherwood, the former chief executive who resigned after 13 years service in February.
Incoming White will take control of the group on 10 August despite being offered a job at "another major organisation".
He said: "We are exceptionally well placed to take advantage of the opportunities currently afforded by the marketplace and by the appetite of discerning travellers for distinctive travel experiences."
James Hurlock, chairman of the board of Orient-Express Hotels, added: "During the search period, Paul was offered an opportunity with another major organisation; however, we are delighted that he has chosen to lead Orient-Express Hotels into its next stage of development."
Orient-Express, which runs 49 hotels, restaurants and the famous luxury train service, has long been tipped as the next hotel group to attract the attention of private equity as well as luxury hotel operator Von Essen, which is reportedly keen to buy Orient-Express's European properties.
By Christopher Walton