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The Four Seasons Throne Is Now Empty

February 11, 2013 at 1:56 PM | by | ()

In a move that shocked many in the hotel and hospitality industry last week, Four Seasons announced the departure of Katie Taylor as CEO, with no immediate replacement selected.

Strange, considering how we've watched the brand flourish in the last few years—from a sexy new website to free WiFi (well, in LA at least) to the company's new flagship in Toronto.

Also, strange, considering Taylor's seemingly impeccable track record with the company. "During her almost 25 year tenure at Four Seasons, [Katie] was integral to the expansion of the business which quadrupled its size, increased its global footprint from three countries to operations in 37 countries, and resulted in strategic partnerships with more than 100 hotel owners and developers across the globe," the press release states.

So, what happened?

Whether you happen to be impressed or disappointed with the company's recent evolution, you have to wonder why they would pull the plug on Taylor's leadership so early in the game. After all, Taylor's been with Four Seasons for almost 25 years, but she only assumed the CEO role in 2010. Could the changes have happened too soon? Is Four Seasons trying to regain control over the situation by choosing a new CEO that will take the company in a different direction?

As one commenter on FlyerTalk noted:

"What surprises me is that they are looking outside the company for a replacement. Four Seasons has always promoted from within the company, yet now they are talking to an executive search firm. This smacks of owner involvement - maybe Bill Gates's people. Hopefully Prince Alwaleed is more knowledgeable about hotels, but you never know."

Whoever's calling the shots better come to a decision fast, since the world (and by the world, we mean us) will be watching Four Seasons closer than ever now. No pressure, FS!

What do you think? Is it time for Four Seasons to change things up? Or have things already changed too quickly? Are there issues with the hotel that you hope get addressed by the new CEO? Let us know in the comments below! Or send us an email.

To read the full press release, click here.

[Photo: Four Seasons Baltimore]

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