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Barbara Muckermann Breaks New Ground as First Female CEO of Kempinski Hotels

Breaking news! Kempinski Hotels, Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, has announced a landmark appointment today: Barbara Muckermann is stepping in as the new Chief Executive Officer, making history as the first woman to lead the esteemed brand. Muckermann, who previously spearheaded Silversea Cruises (part of the Royal Caribbean Group) as CEO, brings her wealth of experience from the world’s largest ultra-luxury and expedition cruise line to her new role at Kempinski.


Barbara Muckermann CEO Kempinksi Hotels

A New Chapter for Kempinski Hotels

Joining Kempinski at a pivotal moment, Muckermann is set to guide the iconic global luxury hospitality brand, which boasts 82 hotels across 36 countries, into a new era of growth. With ambitious plans to expand into new regions and unveil more spectacular properties, Kempinski is poised for impressive development.


Reflecting on her new role, Muckermann shared her excitement: “I could not be more thrilled to be joining Kempinski Hotels as CEO during such a pivotal time for the brand. I am delighted to play an integral role in this incredibly iconic brand’s next chapter while honouring its rich history, and very much look forward to working in tandem with amazing colleagues globally to continue to make the Kempinski name synonymous with individual luxury.”

I could not be more thrilled to be joining Kempinski Hotels as CEO during such a pivotal time for the brand. I am delighted to play an integral role in this incredibly iconic brand’s next chapter while honouring its rich history –– Barbara Muckermann

Kempinski is proud of its 127-year tradition and the high standard of quality it has introduced into new upwardly-mobile markets. With plans to add 34 hotels and residences to its portfolio in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa in the coming years, the group aims to further secure its legendary global position and standing.


Leading the Charge in Luxury Hospitality


René Nijhof, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Kempinski Hotels S.A., commented on the appointment, emphasizing Muckermann’s extensive background and forward-thinking vision: “Barbara has always been at the forefront of luxury, and her proven ability to elevate the guest experience while simultaneously maximising profitability for leading travel brands made her the ideal choice to lead Kempinski Hotels. Her dynamic, forward-thinking approach will be vital as we continue to usher in a new era of luxury for our brand. As Barbara takes the helm, she will be the first woman in the company’s 127 years of history to lead this iconic brand.”


An Impressive Career


Muckermann’s 25-plus years in hospitality have seen her successfully expand sales and profitability while significantly enhancing guest and customer experiences for prominent global luxury and travel brands such as Loro Piana, MSC Cruises, and NCL. Her multinational experience, having lived in Germany, Italy, France, and the USA, and her fluency in five languages, underscore her global perspective and adeptness in navigating the complexities of international markets. Her diverse educational background, including a Doctorate in Political Sciences and Economics and a joint MBA from Columbia and London Business School, complements her extensive industry experience, making her uniquely equipped to steer Kempinski into its next chapter of success.

The Rise of Women Leaders in Hospitality


Muckermann’s leadership marks a significant step forward, not just for Kempinski, but for women in the hospitality industry. Her announcement follows a trend of recent high-profile female CEO appointments in the travel and hospitality sector, such as Ariane Gorin, new CEO at Expedia Group and Gilda Perez-Alvarado, CEO of Orient Express and Chief Strategy Officer, Accor. Keep making history, ladies!

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