Leon Baum has been promoted from resident manager to general manager at the Stafford London by Kempinski. He takes over from Stuart Procter who left the five-AA-red-star, 105-bedroom hotel last month to launch a new hotel in the capital.
After beginning his hospitality career as a management trainee at the Sloane Club in Chelsea, Baum went on to work at Dukes hotel before moving to the Stafford in 2006.
His immediate focus as general manager will be to oversee the hotel's current £6m renovation project which will result in the redesign of 24 bedrooms, the lobby lounge and restaurant.
Recently appointed head chef, Brendan Fyldes will head up the new British restaurant, which is due to open in May. Fyldes joined the hotel from his previous position as head chef at Richard Corrigan's Bentley's restaurant, London. Prior to that, he worked at Northcote Manor under Nigel Haworth and the Longridge restaurant with Paul Heathcote.
Duncan O'Rourke, chief executive of Kempinski Hotels, said it was important for the hotel to have a personality at the top who could balance traditions with innovation.
"Leon's tenure at the Stafford ensures he understand what makes up the soul of the hotel, our secret recipe for success," he said. "This combined with his keen business sense will help us to identify opportunities for change that will result in increased profitability."
"Beyond his business prowess, Leon possesses a natural charm and charisma that makes it easy for him to connect with not just his staff, but every guest who walks through our doors. The genuine sense of welcome he exudes is one of the Stafford's defining qualities and what will continue to attract repeat clientele and set us apart from competitors."
By Janet Harmer
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