Cook, who at 45 has been in the UK hotel industry for 24 years, will start his new role with the De Vere Group on Monday 16 January following the immediate departure this week of Davis to the role at Malmaison and Hotel du Vin which Cook vacated in November.
Announcing the move Andrew Coppel, De Vere Group chief executive, said: “It is excellent news that Robert is joining our team. He is highly respected within the UK hospitality industry. Given his wealth of operational experience, he will add significant value to the De Vere Village in particular and to the Group more generally.”
It will not be the first rime Cook has worked with De Vere Group after serving as managing director for a period in 2007-2008, during which time he was involved in the development of several of the De Vere Village concepts he will now take charge of.
As part of the move Cook, who was elected the first president of the Hospitality Professionals Association for Finance, Revenue Management and IT (HOSPA) in September, will also join the group executive board of the De Vere Group.
Cook left Malmaison and Hotel du Vin last year after eight years for the operator where he created a number of concepts including the standalone restaurant concept Smoak Bar & Grill.
Speaking at the R200 Awards in November, organised by BigHospitality's sister publication Restaurant magazine, Cook said he was not allowed to discuss his next move in the industry but added: "I am going to a business that is still very focused. I'd like to create a branded restaurant environment where I'm going."
Yesterday BigHospitality reported that Cook’s former position as chief executive of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin had been filled by Davis who moved from De Vere Group in what appears to be one half of a direct job swap.
At the time MWB Group Holdings chief executive Richard Balfour-Lynn thanked Cook for his service to the hotel operator. "I would like to thank Robert Cook, who I enjoyed working with enormously, for helping to develop Malmaison and Hotel du Vin and I look forward to continuing the same positive relationship with Gary, who will undoubtedly bring a fresh perspective to the business," Balfour-Lynn said.
At the same time as announcing Cook’s appointment De Vere Group also named Nicholas Bull, current non-executive director, as non-executive chairman in a move designed to allow Coppel more time to focus on his role as group chief executive.