Dorchester Collection taps Cowdray as President

Long-standing executives, Helen Smith and Eugenio Pirri promoted to joint-CEOs

Dorchester Collection has promoted its CEO of 15 years, Christopher Cowdray (above), to company President effective 1 July 2023.

Working closely with the Board of Directors of Dorchester Collection, Cowdray’s new role will ensure that the incisive vision, deeply embedded culture, robust financial performance and strategic growth of Dorchester Collection are maintained, alongside spearheading all development and renovation projects.

Reporting to the Board, the Company’s Chief Customer Experience officer, Helen Smith, and Chief Culture and Operations Executive, Eugenio Pirri – FIH, have been promoted to the positions of joint Chief Executive Officer, from the same date, having worked together for 12 years. The joint-CEOs are aligned on the strategy, mission and vision of Dorchester Collection.

The Dorchester, London

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Commenting on the restructure, Christopher Cowdray said: “This decision ensures continuity of our legendary culture rooted deeply in community, and allows two of Dorchester Collection’s most senior, long-standing executives and leaders in their field to step up.

“The company will benefit from their distinct and ideal combined skillsets of strategic vision, guest and employee-centric focus, and analytical decision making,” Cowdray said.

Cowdray has over 40 years of extensive global experience. He has managed and developed hotels in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Europe, UK, and USA. During his time in London, he brought about sensitive change and modernisation at two of London’s most iconic heritage hotels, Claridge’s and The Dorchester. He was granted the Freedom of the City of London in honour of his contribution to the hotel industry.

Helen Smith has elevated the Dorchester Collection brand since she joined the company in 2005 and has remained the custodian and conceptualiser behind the brand execution. Prior to being Chief Customer Experience officer, she was VP Sales & Marketing for Dorchester Collection for ten years and Director of Sales & Marketing for The Dorchester for three years.

Eugenio Pirri has dedicated his 30-year career to ensuring that people are the cornerstone of every business decision. He joined Dorchester Collection

Helen Smith, incoming Joint-CEO, Dorchester Collection
Eugenio Pirri, incoming Joint-CEO, Dorchester Collection

in 2011 as Vice President, people and organisational development from his previous position as regional HR director of Fairmont Hotels and Resort. He was appointed Chief People and Culture officer in 2017 and then onto his current Chief Culture and Operational executive role in 2021.

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