Kempinski Hotels has confirmed the surprise departure of chief executive Martin Smura.
The hotelier will be replaced by Bernold Schroeder on an interim basis, effective immediately.
Schroeder will also step in as chairman at the oldest luxury hotel group in Europe.
Commenting on the appointment of Schroeder, Abdulla Saif, chairman of the supervisory board of Kempinski, explained: “The supervisory board is confident that, thanks to his in-depth asset management know-how, sense of urgency and his sensibility to quality and craftsmanship, Bernold Schroeder will successfully drive the company forward.
“Since he arrived in 2017, he has been a key player in our strategy and growth, leading the Europe region as chief operating officer, as well as being a highly committed member of the management board of Kempinski.
“We are grateful that Schroeder has agreed to step into his role during these challenging times for the hospitality industry and to build the new phase of the company.”
In his new tenure, Schroeder will seek additional opportunities to achieve improved profitability, sustainable company performance and growth in the long run.
Together with the members of the management board, he will seek to enhance the strategy of the company to deliver the brand promise to Kempinski guests, owners and employees and propel the company to further success.
The supervisory board said it also reaffirmed its long-term commitment to strengthening the Kempinski positioning as an independent international hotel luxury brand.
The move is the latest dramatic change at the top for Kempinski.
Smura was only appointed to the top job in the middle of last year, following the surprise departure of chief executive Markus Semer and chief financial officer Colin Lubbe.
Semer himself had been parachuted into the role following the departure of Alejandro Bernabé following allegations of fraud.
However, charges were later dropped.