Thomas Kochs has landed the top job at Claridge's after being promoted from hotel manager to general manager. He replaces Philippe Leboeuf, who has returned to his native France to take over the general manager role at the Mandarin Oriental Paris.
Kochs has worked at all three London hotels owned and operated by the Maybourne Hotel Group, having joined the company in 2001 at the Berkeley as a member of the banqueting team before being appointed food and beverage director. He moved to the Connaught in 2007 as hotel manager, where he played a key role in relaunching the hotel following a £70m restoration programme.
As hotel manager at the five-star, 203-bedroom Claridge's, which he joined in 2009, Koch oversaw the launch of the Diane von Furstenberg rooms and suites as well as being an integral member of the team that produced the best financial results in the hotel's recent history during 2010.
Stephen Alden, chief executive of Maybourne, said that Kochs has proved himself to be an exceptionally talented hotelier, having gained valuable experience in all elements of the hotel industry.
"He is particularly well equipped to face the business challenges of 2011 and beyond with his strong sense of creativity, dynamic ability to motivate a team and build loyal relationships with guests," he added. "I am particularly proud that Thomas's career has been nurtured and developed within the hotels of Maybourne Hotel Group."
Kochs said he was honoured to be appointed to the top position at what was a legendary hotel. "Claridge's truly is synonymous with impeccable heritage, inherent glamour and contemporary thinking. We have built a team of talented professionals and we look forward to continuing to reinforce Claridge's position as one of the greatest hotels in the world," he said.
Born in Germany, Kochs started his career in the hospitality industry 20 years ago with the Steigenberger Hotel Group. He is a graduate of the Fachhochschule Munich where he holds an MBA Diplom-Betriebswirt (FH).
In an exclusive interview with Caterer and Hotelkeeper, general manager Thomas Kochs reveals that it took "a lot of wooing by the BBC" before the hotel agreed to go ahead with the three-part series. "It was a significant decision because it was the first time Claridge's had opened its doors to TYV cameras."
To read the full interview, pick up this week's issue of Caterer and Hotelkeeper, published on Thursday.
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By Janet Harmer
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