The former CEO of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin has been appointed commercial director at Macdonald Hotels.
Robert Cook, who led the growth of boutique chain Malmaison and Hotel du Vin for nine years before joining De Vere Group as chief executive in 2012, will now have responsibility for Macdonald’s offerings in food and beverage, leisure and spa, and golf across the whole portfolio.
Cook will also be a contributing board member to the overall strategy of the group.
Reporting to group chair and chief executive, Donald Macdonald, he will work alongside deputy chair and finance director, Gordon Fraser, and deputy chief executive, Ruaridh Macdonald.
Announcing the appointment, Donald Macdonald said: “Like everyone in our industry, I’ve been hugely impressed with Robert’s record of success over many years and we spoke soon after he became available last year.
“He has been working in our business as a consultant since January and it’s clear he shares the board’s excitement and ambition about our future plans.
“Our discussions to bring him on board permanently were very straightforward and his appointment is a significant coup for us.
“Having recently agreed the sale of land at our Botley Park Hotel in Southampton for just under £60m, with hotel operating profits up £4.3m last year and with our first quarter this year already £1.4m ahead of forecast, we’ve built up a very strong market position and are currently examining a range of new and exciting opportunities which will continue our upwards growth trend.”
Launched 1990, Macdonald Hotels currently operates over 50 properties in the UK, Spain and Portugal and employs more than 4,000 people.
Under Cook’s leadership, Hotel Du Vin won ‘Best Small Hotel Group in the World’ from Business Traveller Magazine five years running.
In 2008, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen for his services to the hotel and catering industry.
He said: “From the last few months working with the team here, it’s abundantly clear that the culture of the group is a very special one, where quality, teamwork and customer service are integral to the considerable success the business has already enjoyed.
“I firmly believe that the business has enormous potential for future growth, thanks not only to its superb assets, but also to the enthusiasm and ambition of the many, many talented people I’ve encountered at all levels of the company.”