Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has appointed industry veteran Jennifer Fox as new CEO
UK hotel chain Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has named former Fairmont Hotels & Resorts president Jennifer Fox as its new group chief executive and a member of its board of directors.
She takes the reins from interim CEO Tan Kian Seng, who has the role since February 2017, and who will remain at the company as chief of staff and assume other executive responsibilities.
Previously serving as president of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Fox was responsible for the brand’s global hotel portfolio and prior to this she held senior positions at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Starwoods Hotels & Resorts.
Fox will also continue to serve as an independent non-executive director of Village Roadshow, an Australian mass media and entertainment company.
Speaking of her appointment, Fox said: “I look forward to working with chairman Kwek and the board, together with my new Millennium & Copthorne Hotels colleagues around the world.
“The group’s distinctive portfolio of iconic properties gives it a strong edge in tackling the challenges in today’s global hospitality market. I see this as a significant opportunity at a time of great change in our industry.”
In February, the hospitality management and real estate group, said that its revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key measure of a hotel’s financial health, rose in all regions in its fourth quarter except in europe where it slumped 2.9%.
“I am delighted to welcome Jennifer to the group as our chief executive officer,” added Kwek Leng Beng, chairman of M&C.
“With her strong leadership and in-depth sales, marketing and branding background, she will play a critical role in repositioning our key hotels, uplifting brand awareness of the group, as well as improving the overall performance of our portfolio.
“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Kian Seng for his commitment, support and the leadership he has provided. As chief of staff, he will assist Jennifer in expediting the progress of the group.”
Recruitment survey shows struggle to fill hospitality jobs
Hospitality and food businesses are hiring and wages are rising, but employers are facing the biggest deterioration in the availability of candidates to fill new roles in the sector, for more than two decades.
A monthly report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said the reopening of the economy has led to an increase in hiring in the hospitality and food sectors but the high demand for workers is not being met.
A return to normal requires more workers
The steady return to more normal business operations has led to greater demand for staff . As businesses move back into their offices, or begin hybrid working between home and the workplace, there is a need to be filled for tea breaks, caffeine fixes and working lunches. The hospitality and food sectors and trying to fill the vacancies:
- Permanent staff appointments expanded at the quickest rate since 1997
- Temp billings growth hit the highest for nearly 23 years
- Permanent appointments growth hit a series record
At the same time, vacancy growth hit a new series record.
The availability of workers declined at an unprecedented rate, driven by faster falls in the supply of both temporary and permanent staff.
As a result, rates of starting pay rose rapidly at the end of the second quarter.
Improved business confidence leading recovery
The report is compiled by IHS Markit, from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.
“Recruiters are working flat out to fill roles across our economy”, said Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC. “The jobs market is improving at the fastest pace we have ever seen, but it is still an unpredictable time. We can’t yet tell how much the ending of furlough and greater candidate confidence will help to meet this rising demand for staff. In some key shortage sectors like hospitality and food, more support is likely to be needed to avoid slowing the recovery. That means supporting transitions into growing sectors through unemployment support and new skills programmes, as well as making sure the new immigration system reacts to demand.”
“June’s data confirms that momentum in the jobs market continues to surge, with improved business confidence leading to record high recruitment activity”, said Claire Warnes, Partner and Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK. “As we move towards the final easing of pandemic restrictions, permanent role availability increased at the quickest rate since the survey began in 1997 and temporary roles rose to the greatest extent for 23-and-a-half years. But for the fourth month running we’re seeing a decline in the availability of candidates to fill all these new roles and the most severe deterioration for 24 years. We need action from businesses and government to reskill and upskill furloughed and prospective workers now more than ever, as the increasing skills gap in the workforce has the potential to slow the UK’s economic recovery.”