IHIF Interview: Michael Levie, COO, CitizenM

Michael Levie and Rattan Chadha founded CitizenM in 2005, and since then the brand has planted 12 hotels in some of the largest markets in the world. If you ask Levie, he’ll tell you that CitizenM appeals to the global traveler, and there may be something to that. The interest the company has generated is such that former Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen signed on with CitizenM’s advisory board last year.

For Levie, every little detail of the hospitality business matters. That's why his hotels use modular construction techniques to speed up development while micromanaging every facet of development. It's also why, when we sat down with him at IHIF in Berlin, he was eager to talk about hiring, staffing strategies and how his company approaches metropolitan development. Above all, he said CitizenM’s focus on one brand, one strategy has been an asset that some hotel companies have let slip from their fingers.  

“It’s heavy lifting to do one brand real well, and I think ‘brand’ is being used in a broad sense by many,” he said.”


Like this story? Subscribe to IHIF!

The hospitality industry turns to IHIF International Hotel Investment News as the must-read source for investment and development coverage worldwide. Sign up today to get inside the deal with the latest transactions, openings, financing, and more delivered to your inbox and read on the go.
IHIF interview with Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta
IHIF interview with Marriott CDO for Europe Carlton Ervin
IHIF interview with Dream Hotel Group CEO Jay Stein
IHIF interview with IHG EMEAA CEO Kenneth MacPherson
IHIF interview with Choice CEO Pat Pacious
IHIF interview with Radisson Hotel Group CEO John Kidd
IHIF interview with CBRE Hotels EMEA Chairman Derek Gammage
IHIF interview with Wyndham Hotel Group CEO Geoff Ballotti
IHIF interview with AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin

Suggested Articles

Signing a deal a month, Jay Stein has a dream goal of 150 hotels for the company.

The British investment group will commit the capital over the next five years to fund the hotel group’s expansion into U.K. and Portuguese markets. 

David Kelly will oversee the operations of 57 hotels across 26 countries, effective January 1.