31. March 2022

Steigenberger Hotels AG is shaping the future of hospitality under new leadership

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Wilhelm Bender and Oliver Bonke

Wilhelm Bender elected Chairman of Supervisory Board - Oliver Bonke will serve as new CEO - André Witschi and Marcus Bernhardt leave Steigenberger Hotels AG - Company targets to take off again after a challenging period in the market - Realising full potential of H World International brands is top priority

Steigenberger Hotels AG is shaping the future of hospitality under a new leadership. In today’s supervisory board meeting, Professor Wilhelm Bender has been elected Chairman. Oliver Bonke joins the company and will serve as CEO.

Jihong He, CEO International Business of Huazhu Group, says: “I am pleased to welcome Wilhelm Bender, an internationally highly recognized manager and supervisory board member. His experience in managing complex transformation processes will be essential as we take off again after a challenging period in the market.”

Bender served as Chairman of the Executive Board of Fraport AG for seventeen years. He is since then active in various supervisory boards and company advisory boards.

Professor Wilhelm Bender says: “Since my Frankfurt childhood days I am familiar with Steigenberger, and I have been close to the company for my whole career. I feel privileged to serve as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Steigenberger Hotels AG as of today. Mutual trust and respect will be my guiding principles as we kick off our joint mission with the owner Huazhu Group, the executive board and the entire supervisory board.”

Oliver Bonke has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. At Shangri-La Group, he served as CEO Middle East, Europe, India, Americas, based in New York, and President & COO, based in Hong Kong. Prior to that he acted as Chief Commercial Officer of the U.S. based luxury hotel chain Loews Hotels & Co. Other career stations included the role of Chief Commercial Officer of InterContinental Hotels Group in North and South America as well as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing EMEA and before that Asia Pacific of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Jihong He states: “Oliver Bonke is a distinguished expert of the global hotel industry. He has proven his ability to build and grow business on three continents. I got to know Oliver as an inspirational leader who is constantly pushing innovation on all fronts, and I am sure he will make our brands shine brightly.”

Oliver Bonke says: “H World International today is a well-respected, relevant player in the market. It will be an honour to work with Huazhu and the global team to realise the full potential of this remarkable company and its brands.”

André Witschi had recently resigned from his Chairman position. Also, Marcus Bernhardt leaves the company. “I would like to thank André Witschi and Marcus Bernhardt for their work and wish them all the best for their future endeavours,”, says Jihong He.


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