Canada-based luxury hotel company Four Seasons has appointed Allen Smith as its new CEO and president, effective September 23, 2013.

Smith, who is currently CEO of Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI), replaces former Four Seasons CEO and president Kathleen Taylor who left her role in February after more than two decades with the company.

The privately-held company, backed by long-term shareholders comprising Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Company, Cascade Investment and Triples Holdings, was founded in 1960 by Isadore Sharp, and today operates in 37 countries.

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Commenting on Smith’s appointment, Sharp said : “I could not be more pleased with the selection of Allen to lead Four Seasons forward. He shares the vision and values of our organisation and will complement our outstanding executive management team and inspire our exceptional employees around the world.

“Allen has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and will ensure that Four Seasons further enhances its position as the world’s leading luxury hotel brand,” added Sharp.

Smith has served as CEO of PREI since 2008. Under his leadership, it has expanded its global presence, which today comprises 23 offices worldwide and US $53 billion in real estate assets under management, including many hotels.

He joined Prudential in 1987 as a member of its hotel investment group after earning his master’s degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

Over the course of his career with Prudential, his responsibilities expanded beyond hotel investing to include all commercial property types and all facets of the real estate investment business including strategic planning, organisational development, capital partner relations, portfolio management, corporate finance and business operations.

“Having led a global real estate investment business, I am convinced there is no greater hotel brand and the market demand for Four Seasons around the world is enormous. This is a remarkable situation for me to leverage the complete range of skills developed over my career and it is an honour to help take one of the world’s most admired companies to even greater heights and more great places,” said Smith.

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