People On The MoveDorchester Collection announces Christopher Cowdray as company president, with Helen Smith and Eugenio Pirri as joint CEOs.

Dynamic trio sets a new course for Dorchester Collection

From left: Dorchester Collection’s president Christopher Cowdray; CEO Eugenio Pirri; and CEO Helen Smith.
From left: Dorchester Collection’s president Christopher Cowdray; CEO Eugenio Pirri; and CEO Helen Smith.

Dorchester Collection has announced significant changes in its leadership team. Christopher Cowdray, the current CEO of Dorchester Collection, will assume the role of company president effective from 1 July 2023, marking 15 years since he founded the company.

In his new position, Cowdray will closely collaborate with the board of directors to ensure the preservation of Dorchester Collection's incisive vision, deeply embedded culture, robust financial performance, and strategic growth. Moreover, he will spearhead all development and renovation projects.

Joining Cowdray in this new chapter of leadership are Helen Smith, the company's chief customer experience officer, and Eugenio Pirri, the chief culture and operations executive. Smith and Pirri have been promoted to the roles of joint CEOs, effective from the same date, having worked together for 12 years within the organisation. The joint-CEOs share a common strategic vision, mission, and values aligned with Dorchester Collection.

Christopher Cowdray emphasised on the importance of maintaining the company's legendary culture deeply rooted in community. He also highlighted the unique skill sets possessed by Smith and Pirri, two long-standing and highly experienced executives. Their combined strengths in strategic vision, guest and employee-centric focus, and analytical decision-making are expected to benefit the company tremendously.

With over four decades of global experience in the hospitality industry, Christopher Cowdray has successfully managed and developed hotels across various continents. Notably, his tenure in London saw significant transformations and modernization efforts at two iconic heritage hotels, Claridge's and The Dorchester.

Helen Smith, who joined Dorchester Collection in 2005, has played a pivotal role in elevating the brand's status. Throughout her career, Smith has remained the driving force behind the conceptualisation and execution of the Dorchester Collection brand. Smith boasts a decade of experience as the vice president of sales and marketing for Dorchester Collection and three years as the director of sales and marketing for The Dorchester. Her prior positions include key management roles at Sheraton, The Lanesborough, Four Seasons, and Skibo Castle.

Eugenio Pirri, with a career spanning 30 years, joined Dorchester Collection in 2011 as the vice president of people and organisational development, following his role as regional HR director at Fairmont Hotels and Resort. He was appointed as the chief people and culture officer in 2017 before assuming his current position as the chief culture and operations executive in 2021. In his role, Pirri oversees all aspects of hotel operations, culture, guest engagement, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives.

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