Hilton announces new leadership in Australasia, Heidi Kunkel
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) today announced that Heidi Kunkel has been appointed to the position of vice president, operations, Australasia with effect from April 4.
Heidi will oversee the operations of Hilton’s 23 trading and 9 pipeline properties and lead the company’s growth strategy across Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. She will take over the role from interim incumbent Sean Wooden, who will return to his position as vice president, brand management Asia Pacific.
“With Australasia being a key market for Hilton, I am confident that Heidi is the perfect candidate to leverage its potential and bring us to greater heights. With her at the helm, we will continue to build on our recent successes in Australasia, including our win as one of Australasia’s best companies to work for and the opening of our first Curio Collection property in the region, West Hotel Sydney, Curio Collection by Hilton,” said Alan Watts, area president, Hilton Asia Pacific.
An Australian native, Heidi was most recently CEO New Markets Europe & Africa at Club Med, responsible for over 15 commercial market sources, including the UK, South Europe, and the Middle East. Her leadership contributed to Club Med’s Brand of the Year win at this year’s World Branding Awards, an accolade which recognized the holiday chain’s worldwide achievements. .
Prior to the above role, Heidi also held key leadership positions in Club Med’s commercial offices and resorts, among them being CEO, South East Asia Pacific; President, North East Asia (Korea and Japan); and General Manager for Pacific (based in Sydney).
“I am thrilled to lead Hilton’s operations in Australasia, as the company looks to an even bigger year in 2018. Hilton is renowned for its hospitality and innovation and I look forward to working with the team to further strengthen our position in the region,” Heidi said.