10th September 2020

RBH, the UK’s leading independent hotel management company, has promoted from within to fill the role of Managing Director.

Susan Bland, previously the company’s Chief Operations Support Officer which forms part of the Group’s Executive management team, steps into the role with immediate effect, overseeing operations across the business, as well as continuing to look after its commercial side.

A seasoned professional in the hospitality industry, Susan brings more than 20 years of experience to the role – nine of which have been spent with RBH.

Her strong background in hotel operations and F&B, coupled with unrivalled experience in HR and talent development, have seen her successfully steer a significant part of the company’s overall operations for the past four years.

During her time as Chief Operations Support Officer, Susan was responsible for multiple operating functions including commercial, leisure, spa, procurement, F&B, IT and HR – successfully navigating the business during the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the most challenging periods ever for the hospitality industry.

She has also flourished in the role of Chair of the Hospitality Employers Group (HEG), which is made up of some of the industry’s biggest global players – a role which she has held for three years.

Susan takes up her new position following the post-lockdown re-opening of RBH’s portfolio of more than 45 hotels.

She said:

It goes without saying that I am thrilled to take on the new role of Managing Director. As I have risen through the ranks, I have been lucky enough to learn about all aspects of the industry from – and be inspired by – some of the best in the business, both before and during my time at RBH. I hope I can inspire the next generation of hospitality leaders – particularly women who aspire to make their mark across the sector. Thanks to my involvement in HEG, that’s something I’m exceptionally passionate about.

I’m proud to step up and lead the team as we head into a new chapter, following the most challenging trading period in our history. Our hotels have performed well during their transition out of lockdown, and my priority is ensuring we build on this success and continue to expand the portfolio by creating an ongoing pipeline of new properties. Just days ago, we took on the management of the historic Crown Hotel Harrogate, and in the coming months we’ll be opening brand new properties in Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester with the Hilton brand, so my new role comes into play at an exciting time.”

Helder Pereira, Chief Executive Officer at RBH, said:

Over the years, Susan has proved to be a vital member of our senior team, and the wider RBH family. Her industry experience across operations, commercial and people management is second to none, and in the past few years she has been instrumental in ensuring the success of our business across each of these areas.

The breadth of industry experience Susan has is exactly what is needed in a leader of a business of this scale, to ensure we deliver operational excellence and outstanding returns for our owners; but also in making sure we continually uphold our four core values and focus on the people who are central to RBH. I am exceptionally proud to see Susan step into the role of Managing Director and have every confidence that the business is in the safest of hands.”