Creators of Distinction
THE HOSPITALITY MOGUL MICHAEL ISSENBERG, CHAIRMAN & CEO, ASIA PACIFIC, ACCOR
BLAZING THE TRAIL
When Issenberg joined the group in 1994, Accor had fewer than 80 hotels in Asia Pacific. Twentyfive years later, the group has grown to more than 1,200 hotels in 22 countries, and opens a new hotel, on average every 2.5 days across the region. Issenberg has focused on opening new frontiers and launching in new verticals in travel, and he was responsible for the launch of the first hotel-branded timeshare company in Australia, Accor Vacation Club. Under his bold leadership, Accor became the first international hotel group to enter several countries within the region, and it is now the #1 international operator in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.
Brands that stand the test of time, continually emerging with innovative products and initiatives that leave a legacy of uncompromising excellence. To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we want to draw inspiration from the achievements of these noteworthy brands and the outstanding individuals who drive them.
As an award-winning hotelier who is also recognised with the Ordre National du Merite from the French Government, one of the highest civilian orders possible, for his tireless work in forging links between France and the world, Issenberg’s career with Accor continues to accelerate with the acquisition of Mirvac’s hotel operations in Australia and the Mantra portfolio of hotels in the Pacific. The biggest highlight for him was the acquisition of the FRHI Holdings Limited portfolio of brands – Raffles, Fairmont, Swissotel – where he was chosen to lead the integration of the groups, which consolidated Accor’s leadership in luxury.
At the time of writing, the greatest challenge of Issenberg’s career is dealing with the coronavirus situation while protecting the interests of various stakeholders (guests, owners, staff) and ensuring the longterm viability of the business. Once travel starts to rebound, Issenberg would be driving Accor’s stronger leadership role in sustainability as guests are increasingly looking to hotel groups to protect the planet and to give back to the people in destinations in which the group operates. He is a firm believer that you cannot enter a destination without ensuring you improve the situation for locals.
THE OM FACTOR
“My philosophy would be to continually Sharpen the Saw (the seventh habit from Stephen Covey’s famous Seven Habits of Highly Effective People). For me the concept of continual improvement is a great mantra to live by. I continuously strive to improve myself and our business.”