Chief Executive Officer
Peter Cole joined Design Hotels™ as CEO in December 2018 with a commitment to future growth and the creation of long-term value for hoteliers and stakeholders, drawing upon his illustrious career with Marriott International and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC.
In his previous role as Managing Director of Business Integration at Marriott International, Peter lead the company’s integration of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, overseeing a wide array of activities including hotel operations, organizational design, talent management, loyalty programs, system integration, financial management, and unit growth. Peter was also Chief Financial Officer for the Americas for Marriott, as well as global CFO of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC; both positions that attest to his erudition when it comes to steering the financial rudder of a large multinational.
The ardent runner and swimmer holds a BBA in Real Estate Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from the University of Maryland. In addition to his principle task, Peter carries out duties that matter to his heart and mind. He sits on the Advisory Board of the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and the National Board of Directors for Back on My Feet, an organization dedicated to helping change the lives of those experiencing homelessness.
Chief Financial Officer
Since 2014, Sascha Wolff is Chief Financial Officer of Design Hotels.
Wolff joined the predecessor company of Design Hotels, lebendsart global networks AG in February 2000 – right after the company’s IPO in December 1999 - as Head of Accounting and later also took over Financial Controlling.
With his profound knowledge and understanding of the company’s finances and internal processes, Wolff was promoted to Director of Finance in 2004 and joined the Executive Board. In this role he was granted commercial power of representation. In 2009, he was promoted to Vice President Finance and managed to lead the company through uncertain times after the 2008/2009 worldwide financial crisis. Since then, Design Hotels operates on a solid financial footing, which is manifested in its year-over-year growth. Consequently, he became Vice President & Chief Financial Officer in 2014. Over the years, Wolff made significant contributions to the evolution of the company and was ultimately given responsibility for the entire Finance & Administration unit in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer. Wolff leads the company’s administrative, financial and legal affairs and handles all Investor Relation matters.
Chief Operating Officer
On December 1, 2018, Serdar Kutucu became Chief Operating Officer of Design Hotels.
Kutucu joined the company in 2008 as Director of Business Development and played a pivotal role in shaping the fine collection of more than 300 privately owned member hotels for over half a decade.
The aesthete with a natural affinity for brands and design has always had a keen instinct for brand narrative, architecture and positioning. Consequently, he took over the leadership of the distinctive Design Hotels™ Brand in 2014 contriving and conceiving the alignment of the company’s brand ideation with the vision to create original hospitality experiences.
With his deep understanding of the travel industry and hoteliers needs paired with his wealth of experience in marketing, communications and consultancy, Kutucu decisively contributed to the strategic development and the further evolution of the brand and the company as a whole.
Kutucu, who holds a master’s degree in international business administration from the University of Vienna, brings the fundamentals and the creativity to further drive innovation and consolidate internal processes while conveying the company culture and positioning Design Hotels™ as the distinctive brand in the industry.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board
Prof. Dr. Holger Peres is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Design Hotels AG since June 20, 2006.
Dr. Peres is a lawyer; he completed his studies in law at the University in Munich (Second State Examination 1979; Dr. iur. 1989). Dr. Peres is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance gGmbH, Berlin. He does not hold any further Supervisory Board mandates.
Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board
Mr. Hoffman was appointed by court on February 14, 2017.
Since August 2004, Mr. Hoffman is Executive Vice President – Mergers, Acquisitions & Business Development with Marriott International, Inc. Prior to that, he served as Executive Vice President – Finance, eCommerce, and Senior Vice President – Finance.
Mr. Hoffman started with Marriott as Senior Vice President, Special Projects in 2000. In his current position, Mr. Hoffman has responsibility for leading and supervising the Company’s mergers and acquisition strategy and execution, and developing new business opportunities for the Company. During his tenure, the Company has added through acquisition Delta Hotels & Resorts (Canada), Protea Hotels, Gaylord Hotels and the AC by Marriott brand, developed the Edition brand in partnership with Ian Schrager, created the Autograph Collection, and developed the new Moxy Hotel brand for the economy sector in partnership with Inter IKEA. Most recently, Mr. Hoffman led the Marriott team in successfully negotiating and closing the merger with Starwood Hotels & Resorts in September 2016.
Prior to joining Marriott, Mr. Hoffman was an attorney for 18 years in the Washington, D.C., law-firm of Williams & Connolly. In that capacity, he served as Marriott’s lead counsel in several litigation matters. Mr. Hoffman graduated from the University of Michigan Law School (Magna Cum Laude) in 1981, and received his undergraduate degree from Washington University (St. Louis) (Suma Cum Laude) in 1977. Following graduation from law school, Mr. Hoffman served as a law clerk to the Honorable Prentice H. Marshall, a federal judge in the Northern District of Illinois.
In addition to his work for Marriott, Mr. Hoffman served for ten years on the Board of Directors of the University of Maryland Medical System, by appointment of the Governor of Maryland, acting as Chairman of the Finance Committee and a member of the Executive Committee.
Member of the Supervisory Board
Mr. Weber was appointed in the Annual Shareholder Meeting on June 25, 2009.
Axel Weber is Jurist and Managing Director at Bochum based consultancy firm AW&P. He completed his studies in law at the University in Bochum (Second State Examination 1990). His company focuses on the strategic consultancy of retail, hotel and gastronomy firms.
Member of the Supervisory Board
Mr. Povinelli was appointed by court on February 14, 2017.
Mr. Povinelli is Global Brand Leader for Westin, Le Méridien, Renaissance, Autograph Collection, and Tribute Portfolio, responsible for developing the overall vision, positioning and strategic direction for the lifestyle brands through the global marketing strategy, guest experience, standards and communications programs.
Building brands for almost 25 years, Mr. Povinelli was previously Senior Vice President and Global Brand Leader for Westin and Le Méridien brands. Under his leadership, Westin has seen monumental global growth driven by the success of the brand’s distinct well-being positioning and signature guest offerings. Mr. Povinelli has also led repositioning efforts for Le Méridien, resulting in the strongest portfolio and performance levels in the brand’s history. Prior to that he was the Vice President of Global Integrated Marketing at Reebok responsible for the brand’s advertising, public relations and overall marketing strategy.
Member of the Supervisory Board
Mr. Andreopoulos was appointed in the Annual Shareholder Meeting on June 28, 2017.
Mr. Andreopoulos heads up Marriott’s European franchise organisation and coordinates the continent’s owner support efforts. Working to empower Marriott’s partners, Mr. Andreopoulos’ team helps franchisees and hotel owners to release the potential of Marriott’s brands, systems, and sales engines.
Marriott’s core branded European Franchise community comprises over 170 hotels with a combined inventory of nearly 40,000 bedrooms and total annual sales revenues in excess of $1.5 billion.
In his previous role Mr. Andreopoulos led Marriott’s European Global Sales Organisation of around 100 associates deployed against Marriott’s most commercially important accounts, spanning all business segments, across 40 countries.
During his 16 year career with Marriott, Mr. Andreopoulos has held a variety of leadership positions in both the European and Middle East and Africa divisions.