Four Seasons Names Prudential’s Smith CEO After Search

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts hired Allen Smith, the head of Prudential Real Estate Investors, as chief executive officer after a five-month search.

Smith, 56, will start on Sept. 23, the Toronto-based luxury-hotel chain said today in a statement. He succeeds Kathleen Taylor, who left the company in February.

“Allen is a proven global growth leader and investor who fits well with our strong company culture and understands the value of preserving the quality of the existing brand,” Michael Larson, chief investment officer of Cascade Investment LLC, said in the statement. The firm, owned by Bill Gates, is part of a group including Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Co. that took the hotelier private in 2007. “We see great market opportunities to further expand the Four Seasons brand worldwide.”

Smith had been CEO of Prudential Real Estate Investors, the real estate investment unit of life insurer Prudential Financial Inc. since 2008, the company said. He joined the company in 1987, according to the statement.

Prudential promoted Eric Adler, chief investment officer of the real estate division, as Smith’s replacement, the Newark, New Jersey-based company said in a separate statement.

Four Seasons has 91 properties in 38 countries, including the Four Seasons Hotel New York in Manhattan and Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris. Isadore Sharp founded the company in the early 1960s with a 125-room Toronto motor inn, and was its CEO until 2010, when Taylor succeeded him. Sharp’s Triples Holdings Ltd. is part of the ownership group.

(Adds details of company’s history in final paragraph.)
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