HONG KONG—Craig S. Smith has been appointed president and managing director of Marriott International Asia Pacific (APAC), succeeding Simon F. Cooper, who will retire at the end of the month. Smith formerly held the position of president of Marriott International Caribbean & Latin America (CALA).
“During an impressive and well-traveled career, Simon has been widely known as an influential leader in the hospitality industry,” said Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International. “His leadership has been instrumental in the globalization of Marriott’s operations ushering in an exciting chapter of growth at our company.”
As president of the Caribbean & Latin America region, Smith was responsible for more than 90 hotels in 25 countries. Since assuming the role in 2012, Smith and his team positioned the region for exciting growth that is projected to include the addition of 14,000 jobs and more than 70 additional properties across 10 lodging brands in 26 countries and territories by 2017, according to the company.
Smith has previously worked in Hong Kong serving as COO for Marriott International’s APAC region. At that time, he was responsible for 150 hotels, which generated in excess of $3.5 billion in revenue. He has also served as area VP for Southeast Asia and Hong Kong/Macau, and was area VP for India, Pakistan and Southeast Asia.
“I’m looking forward to returning to Asia. A lot has changed since I moved from APAC to CALA, and I’m excited to return to the region while it is going through this incredible expansion,” said Smith. “Asia Pacific is integral to Marriott International achieving its objective of becoming the world’s favorite travel company.
“CALA and APAC have a surprising number of shared traits but, in many ways, they are worlds apart,” he continued. “It’s a wonderful opportunity and a huge challenge following in Simon’s footsteps. I’m very much looking forward to building on his success. I am truly standing on the shoulders of a giant.”
Cooper led the operating performance and growth of Asia-Pacific; within the next four years, the company expects to more than double its size in Asia. In the region, Marriott International is represented by nine lodging brands, including Bulgari, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Marriott, Renaissance, Autograph, Courtyard, Fairfield and Marriott Executive Apartments.
“These past few years have been tremendous. Not only did our APAC presence grow at an impressive rate, but it has been wonderful to see the positive effect Marriott has had on the region’s development. It was very meaningful to end my tenure with a visit to the Marriott Yao Foundation Hope School in the Sichuan Province of China. The school’s goal is complementary to ours: opening doors to a world of opportunity,” said Cooper. “I have no doubt that Craig will continue Marriott’s success in the region while making sure that the company stays true to its core values.”