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Abercrombie & Kent announces new CEO just 12 months after appointing predecessor

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Abercrombie & Kent Group’s mission to deliver divine experiential luxury travel is about to be elevated to new heights.

As one of the world’s finest luxury travel businesses, it’s appropriate that the Group has appointed industry leader Michael Wale as its new President and CEO.

Bringing a wealth of experience to the role, Wale has been at the helm of prestigious brands including Kerzner International – the owner of One&Only Resorts and Atlantis – where he was CEO from 2018.

"I am thrilled to be joining the team at Abercrombie & Kent at this pivotal time in the company’s history," Wale said. "I have travelled with Abercrombie & Kent before and understand its distinctive approach to luxury experiential travel."

"Michael Wale has a remarkable track record of steering leading luxury brands towards unequalled heights." – Geoffrey Kent

Wale’s knowledge of the tourism sector is extensive. The executive spent almost 40 years of his hospitality career with Starwood Hotels & Resorts where he went on to become President for Europe, Africa and the Middle East – overseeing the operations of 250 hotels and resorts across 60 countries.

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Currently residing in Dubai, the newly appointed CEO (who officially takes the reins in October 2020) will be relocating to Monaco while continuing his association with Kerzner International as a board member.

Abercrombie & Kent Founder and Co-Chair Geoffrey Kent said Wale would be an asset to the 58-year-old business, having spearheaded Kerzner’s worldwide expansion.

"Michael Wale has a remarkable track record of steering leading luxury brands towards unequalled heights," Kent said. "We look forward to working with him to elevate Abercrombie & Kent’s profile and achieve even higher standards of excellence."

Wale will succeed Amerigo Perasso, who became CEO in August 2019 following Heritage Group’s investment in Abercrombie & Kent Group.

Initially established as the first luxury safari outfitter, Abercrombie & Kent’s award-winning travel services extend to more than 100 countries across the globe.

Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Chair of Heritage Group and Co-Chairman of Abercrombie & Kent, said it’s the thoughtful, personalised touches that truly create memorable moments and set the brand apart.

"When guests book a holiday with us, they know we will guide them to amazing places, but the destination is a given," Lefebvre said. "What they can expect from us – and what keeps them coming back – is how we go the extra mile.

"Michael’s extensive experience in guest services and operations will take what Abercrombie & Kent is known for to the next level."

From spending 26 days on a global expedition by private jet with Founder Geoffrey Kent, and discovering the wonders of the Galápagos Islands to venturing across the islands of Estonia, basking in the medieval heritage of the Northern European nation, travel destinations can be experienced like never before.

But like many companies in the tourism industry, Abercrombie & Kent has had to press the pause button on unforgettable excursions during the pandemic.

To meet differing regulations and COVID-19 restrictions, more than 55 of the brand’s offices have been working with local suppliers to determine different measures depending on regions.

Small group and tailor-made travel experiences are able to go ahead depending on the location while Abercrombie & Kent adhere to the World Health Organization’s coronavirus guidelines.

While international travel won’t return to normal for some time, Wale – who will be starting his new role at a time when global tourism is impacted severely – is eagerly anticipating a new world post-pandemic.

"I also look forward to working with Geoffrey and Manfredi – two titans of the travel industry – to build a bright future for our guests, partners and staff," Wale said.

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