Stefan Leser named group chief executive of Jumeirah Group

Dubai Holding announced the transition of Gerald Lawless, Jumeirah Group president and CEO, to a new position responsible for tourism and hospitality in Dubai Holding’s corporate office, having served 18 years at the helm of Jumeirah Group.

Dubai Holding also announced that Stefan Leser has been appointed group chief executive of Jumeirah Group, effective from Feb. 1, 2016. Leser joins from Swiss travel business Kuoni, where he spent the last 10 years, most recently as EVP of its outbound travel and inbound specialist businesses managing a team of 8,000 employees.


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Lawless first came to Dubai in 1978 and since then has devoted almost 30 years of his professional life to the city. After a 23-year career with Forte Hotels, he joined Jumeirah Group in 1997. Lawless spearheaded the expansion of the company’s portfolio, which now includes 23 hotels in 12 destinations, stretching from London to Shanghai, with a robust pipeline of new openings planned. Lawless will remain Chancellor of Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management.