December 8, 2017 – Hospitality advisory and executive search firm AETHOS Consulting Group has recruited Anthony Mallows as president and CEO of WATG, one of the world’s leading integrated design firms. He replaces Mike Seyle, who left the global architectural design firm earlier this year. Ken Greger, an AETHOS Consulting Group partner based in Portland, OR, led the global assignment.
“AETHOS conducted an exhaustive search,” said WATG chairwoman of the board Muriel Muirden. “The assignment was undertaken with diligence and determination, and we are most grateful for the wisdom and support given by Ken.”
Mr. Mallows is a global executive and seasoned property development professional who is trained as an architect and city planner. He has extensive experience in the feasibility, programming, planning, design, implementation and management of large complex mixed-use projects.
He will be leaving his position as director of Masdar City, one of the world’s most sustainable communities and an emerging technology cluster in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Mr. Mallows has spearheaded the overall growth and direction of Masdar City’s initiatives, strategic partnerships and the development of research and innovation clusters within the city, and has championed low carbon development.
Mr. Mallows’ previous experience includes: founder/executive director of Rubin Mallows Worldwide, a real estate development company; executive director for planning and design at Sorouh Real Estate PJSC in Abu Dhabi; partner and director of Hart Howerton, a U.S.-based architectural, interior design, land planning and landscape architecture firm; and partner and vice president of Sasaki Associates, an international planning and design firm based in Boston.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Anthony to WATG,” said Ms. Muirden. “His global expertise and work on complex urban and resort projects brings great wisdom, experience and powerful ambassadorial skills to the firm.”
Mr. Mallows said he was looking forward to his new role. “Throughout my 32-year career, I’ve always admired WATG and the firm’s ability to continually innovate and deliver award-winning design,” he said. “I’m particularly inspired by the firm’s legacy and ability to maintain its core ethos of creativity and commercially successful projects.”
WATG, which was founded in Honolulu in 1945, offers integrated design services comprising strategy, planning, architecture, landscape and interiors for urban, tourism and resort destinations. Over its history, WATG and its interior design unit, Wimberly Interiors, have designed projects in more than 160 countries and territories around the world.
AETHOS Consulting Group is a human capital advisory firm focused on the hospitality sector, specializing in executive search, compensation consulting, performance management, culture creation and organizational effectiveness. The firm is based in Boulder, CO, with offices in New York, London, Melbourne, Philadelphia and Dallas.
In another search, AETHOS placed hospitality executive Ken Greene as president of the Americas for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group (CRHG). Mr. Kefgen, Andrew Hazelton and Chris Mumford led the assignment. Mr. Greene formerly served as president and CEO of Delta Hotels and Resorts.
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Tourism Sector Rebounds
After taking a massive hit during the Great Recession, employment and hiring within the hotel and hospitality industry has begun to rebound. In the last year, according to one set of survey metrics, the industry added 527,000 jobs (2.6 million since 2004). That number is expected to increase in 2017, as global tourism and traveling in general are expected to rise.
As such, the travel and hospitality market is estimated to generate an annual economic impact of $6.5 trillion worldwide this year. In the U.S. alone, the $1.5 trillion industry accounts for nearly eight million jobs, more than five percent of total jobs across the country.
“My hope is that Donald Trump will be good for the economy and a voice for the hotel industry on Capitol Hill,” said Mr. Kefgen. “Travel is a key indicator of economic health and I believe Mr. Trump’s low tax, small government approach is good for business. Fixing healthcare will also be a plus for the travel industry, as the present system seems to be disliked by everyone.”
Immigration, though, will be a compelling issue for the industry, including food supply chain, said Mr. Kefgen, as the sector employs a great deal of first generation immigrants and undocumented workers. “Trade issues with China and Latin America will also have an impact on our industry from an investment perspective,” he said. “But travel could be adversely affected if relations get strained. I think our industry will be more of a bellwether for the President’s policy successes or failures than any other.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media