Raul Leal has stepped down as chief executive of Virgin Hotels after leading the company for ten years.

He joined company in 2010 as the first employee when it was building its initial pipeline of projects and developing its lifestyle hotel offering.

Leal has since played a significant role in creating the character and infrastructure of the brand, inspiring its unique design, and instilling its exemplary service ethos.

He has also been instrumental in establishing strong relations with our partners and attracting a world-class management team to the business. 

Now, with the Virgin Hotels brand established and major hotels in Las Vegas, New York, and New Orleans set to open this year, Leal has decided to step back from the day-to-day management of the business and focus on new personal projects.

He will also continue consulting for Virgin Group as an advisor on brand and design related matters.

Peter Norris, chairman of Virgin Hotels, said: “Raul has built a tremendous platform for Virgin Hotels to expand from over the last ten years.

“We have won several distinguished hotel awards and have shaken up the lifestyle hotel sector with our distinctive proposition and innovative designs.

“His passion for service and his commitment to his people mark him out as a hotelier of distinction and leave the brand in excellent shape to thrive in the coming years.”

A new chief executive for Virgin Hotels will be announced in the coming weeks.

Leal said: “It has been a joy to work with one of the world’s great brands and launch a disruptive business.

“I am extremely proud of the unique concept proposition we have built at Virgin Hotels.”