Paul White (pictured), president and chief executive officer (CEO) of luxury hotel group Orient-Express, has resigned, for personal reasons.
Bob Lovejoy, chairman of the Orient-Express board, has been named interim CEO while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement. The board has named a search committee chaired by director Mitchell Hochberg and made up of Lovejoy, Prue Leith and Georg Rafael.
Lovejoy said the board appreciates the good work White has done in the various roles he has held in the business over 20 years. "He has managed the company through a difficult economic period, and has positioned Orient-Express for renewed growth," he said. "We understand and agree with his decision to step down for personal reasons. We wish him well in his future endeavors."
Lovejoy went on to say that the group's financial results for the first quarter of 2011, which included revenue per available room (revpar) growth for the fifth consecutive quarter, demonstrated the recovery of the luxury travel market and the financial progress the company has made.
"We expect to continue this positive momentum, and as interim CEO I will work to ensure we remain focused on profitable growth and building long-term shareholder value."
Orient-Express owns and manages 41 hotels, as well as several luxury trains, in 24 countries, including Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire.
By Janet Harmer
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