Arora Group's executive director John Donaldson retires

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

John Donaldson steps down from his role as executive director at Arora Group after 45 years in the industry
John Donaldson steps down from his role as executive director at Arora Group after 45 years in the industry

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Arora Group's John Donaldson, the man responsible for opening Sofitel London Heathrow at Terminal 5, is retiring after more than 45 years in the hospitality industry. 

Donaldson, who has worked at Surinder Arora's growing hotel company for the last 15 years, has retired from his role as executive director at Arora Group, although will remain connected with the company on its Advisory Board. 

A fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and the Chartered Management Institute, Donaldson held senior operational positions with Forte Hotels at The Waldorf London and The Ritz Madrid before joining Arora Group in 2001. 

The hotelier was responsible for launching the 312-bedroom Arora Hotel Gatwick in Crawley as general manager and re-branded and opened the Sofitel London Gatwick before taking on the role of group sales and marketing director at Arora Hotels. He became executive director of Arora Group in 2007 when he launched Sofitel London Heathrow before overseeing PR and communications for the group as well as undertaking special development projects with founder and chairman Arora. 

He said: "I am exceptionally proud of all that the Arora Group has accomplished while I have been part of the team, not least in the hotel division which has experienced exceptional growth with some incredible hotels. Working with Surinder and his team has been an absolute privilege and a pleasure and I am delighted to remain engaged in the Arora business in my advisory role. These are exciting times at Arora with a number of key hotel openings in the pipeline and I wish them every success for the future.”

Arora said: “John is a highly respected professional among his colleagues, stakeholders and our partners and has played a key role in the company’s transformation. In addition to leading some of our most significant hotel openings, including Sofitel London Heathrow, John has established dynamic teams and partnerships during his tenure that have been fundamental to our success, and I wish him a long, healthy and very happy retirement.”

The announcement comes shortly after the opening of Arora’s largest and most prestigious hotel development to date, InterContinental London – The O2. 

Related topics: Business, People, Hotels

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