Marriott International has announced new appointments for leadership positions in Sub-Saharan Africa – Voker Heiden takes on the role of Area Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa and Sean Maher the Market Vice President for South Africa. With over 100 managed and franchised properties across the region, the new appointees will focus on the managed portfolio and provide enhanced operational support, drive efficiencies and help deliver the company’s growth strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Volker Heiden takes on the role of Area Vice President Sub-Saharan Africa and will oversee operations of all managed properties across the region. A 23-year veteran with Marriott International, Heiden has held senior finance positions in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Prior to joining Marriott International in South Africa in 2017, Heiden served as Vice President of Finance for Marriott’s Caribbean and Latin American region, based in Plantation, Florida.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is a region that comes with fantastic business and tourism opportunities and I am delighted to be leading a highly skilled and motivated team that will offer extensive support to our operations across a number of markets. I look forward to working closely with our hotel leaders and continue our fundamental efforts of delivering exceptional guest experiences, whilst having a strong focus and support structure for the exciting growth plan of our portfolio across the market.” says Heiden.

To support Heiden and the new structure, Sean Maher has been appointed Market Vice President for South Africa. Maher is a 32-year veteran with Protea Hotels and Marriott International. Sixteen of those years were spent as General Manager of five different Protea Hotels, before a short stint as Regional General Manager in Johannesburg. Maher was then appointed to the Protea Board of Directors in 2008, before being appointed to his role as Senior Regional Director for Protea.

Heiden’s team will also consist of direct reports across various functions including, Finance, Operations, Revenue Strategy, Sales & Distribution, Human Resources and Marketing, Digital & Loyalty.

“Marriott International has significantly developed its footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa and we continue to embrace the exciting opportunities in the market. We are delighted to have the support of these incredible leaders as we focus on driving efficiencies and provide support to our hotels and partners in the region. We are more than confident that the team will continue to strengthen our position across Sub-Saharan Africa”, commented Phil Andreopoulos, Marriott’s Chief Operating Officer for Owner and Franchise Services EMEA, who also overlooks Sub-Saharan Africa.

Recognising the importance of their large and growing franchised portfolio – making up more than 40% of their footprint in the region – Marriott International has expanded the responsibilities of the Franchise Owner Support and Services teams to oversee the franchise operations in Sub-Saharan Africa. The teams are primarily based in Europe, with additional members on the ground in South Africa to provide dedicated support to its franchise operations in the region.

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