From left to right: Markus Semer, Deputy CEO and Chief Group Development and Corporate Affairs Officer;
Marcus van der Wal, Chief Operating Officer; Colin Lubbe, Chief Financial Officer; and Alejandro Bernabé, Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer
With Kempinski since 1998
Bernabé is known for his practical, hands-on experience in city and resort hotels, and an inspirational and rigorous management style. Appointed CEO in 2014, his mandate is to ensure a smooth transition and to continue building the group.
A graduate of the Hotel Institute Montreux in Switzerland, Bernabé graduated cum laude with a Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts USA, as well as an MBA from Reims Management School in France.
Bernabé has worked his way up through various operational roles at Kempinski at flagship properties in destinations such as Jakarta, St Petersburg, Istanbul, Kuwait, Jordan and Dubai. Most recently, Bernabé was VP Southeast Asia, based in Bangkok. Prior to joining Kempinski, Bernabé worked at Meliá Hotels International and Hilton Hotels & Resorts, amongst others, in Switzerland, South Africa, France and Sri Lanka.
With Kempinski since 2002
Semer has served on the Management Board since 2008 and was promoted to Deputy CEO in 2014. He is responsible for the group’s major growth areas of hotel and new business concept development, ensuring Kempinski’s portfolio expands according to the group’s strategic plan. He also oversees Corporate Affairs, including Legal, Strategic Planning, Corporate Communications and People Services as well as Kempinski’s Associated Businesses.
Semer studied Economics at the University of Würzburg in Germany. Prior to joining Kempinski, Semer gained experience at Commerzbank AG in Corporate Banking. He also holds an MBA from the prestigious HEC/ Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland. A classical music enthusiast, Semer is a member of the Foundation Board of Trustees of Beethoven-Haus Bonn.
With Kempinski since 1998
Van der Wal is a highly regarded international hotelier with nearly thirty years' operational experience. He is responsible for translating group strategy into operational initiatives and performance, in order to deliver on Kempinski's brand promise.
Van der Wal studied French at the University of Nice, has a Hotel Management Diploma from Glion Hotel School in Switzerland, as well as an MBA from Reims Management School in France.
At Kempinski, van der Wal began his career in Munich and over the years has overseen several of the group's key properties, including Beijing, Budapest and Munich, assuming regional responsibilities. Most recently, van der Wal was SVP Europe overseeing 22 properties. Prior to joining the group, he worked in management positions at Radisson, Sheraton and Intercontinental in Austria, Brazil and Venezuela.
With Kempinski since 2009
Responsible for the Corporate and Hotel Finance Department, Lubbe is also responsible for Information Technology for the group. His role is to drive performance by enabling business, supporting decision-making and resources planning in the hotels Kempinski operates. He is pioneering taking financial services entirely into the cloud to allow for accurate decisions around the clock from anywhere in the world.
Before joining Kempinski, Lubbe was the Vice President Financial Shared Services for Hyatt Corporation in Chicago. During his 27 years of experience in international hospitality, he has lived and worked in Germany, Switzerland, the United States as well as South Africa, and has opened 26 hotels in his career so far.