Overall ranking: 63 (8 in 2012)
Hotelier ranking: 11 (2 in 2012)
Simon Vincent is area president of Hilton's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) division. Based in London, he is responsible for more than 385 hotels across six brands in 54 countries. He reports direct to the company's president and chief executive officer, Chris Nassetta. Since joining the company in 2007, he has overseen the opening of more than 225 hotels and spearheaded growth in the multi-brand proposition which, along with core brand Hilton, includes Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Curio and Canopy.
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A 20-year veteran of the leisure and travel industry, Vincent was previously chief executive of Opodo, the pan-European online travel agency. He also spent 13 years at the Thomas Cook Group, latterly as chief operating officer of the UK travel division.
He has extensive international experience having held a number of pan-European roles, and has also worked in North America and Japan. He spent the early part of his career with HSBC.
The Middle East and Africa were added to Vincent's responsibilities in 2015 as area president of Europe, and he has overseen a major push on expanding the Hilton Worldwide brands internationally, including the mid-market Hilton Garden Inn and Doubletree by Hilton brands.
Vincent is spearheading an aggressive, asset-light expansion policy, with new openings split approximately 50:50 between franchised and managed properties. At the beginning of 2017 Hilton hit the milestone of 100,000 rooms open in the EMEA region, including the world's first Canopy by Hilton, which opened in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2016. A further 64,000 rooms are in Hilton's EMEA pipeline.
Vincent has a proven track record of increasing shareholder value and has successfully led strategic acquisitions and business transformation initiatives resulting in the repositioning of brands and the diversification of revenue streams.
He oversaw the opening of Hilton's first dual-branded property in the UK: the Hilton and Hampton by Hilton St George's Park at the Football Association's National Training Centre in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, in 2012.
Hilton launched its first Curio property in the UK in 2017 in the extensively refurbished 131-bedroom Trafalgar St James London and is set to open its second hotel under the white label brand at Lincoln Plaza in London's Canary Wharf later this year.
Vincent is on Hilton's global executive committee, represents the company as co-chair of the UK Tourism Council and is a member of the governing council for the International Tourism Partnership. He is also a non-executive director at Fortnum & Mason and a trustee of the Jigsaw School, an independent day school for children on the autistic spectrum.
In the New Year Honours List 2015 Vincent was awarded an OBE for his services to the hospitality and tourism industries.
Looking ahead, Hilton also scored a major coup in securing the management contract against stiff opposition to operate the luxury hotel that is being transformed within the iconic Admiralty Arch building in London. The new hotel will open as the UK's second Waldorf Astoria in 2022.
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