What is required of a hotel general manager today is a far cry from what was valued from a GM in days gone by.
Today, a general manager who is adept in sales and distribution is likely more valuable than one who is strong in operations, although this does depend on factors such as how competitive the market is, or the type of hotel, for example, large or boutique, midscale or luxury.
Criteria are changing for many roles in hospitality — even right at the top as we see in this week's featured story below, where what is required of a regional head of a global hotel chain is evolving.
Going by InterContinental Hotels Group's new model, the head must also be adept at development, since soon, he or she — and not the global development officer, as is traditionally the case — will be directly accountable for the chain's system growth in the region he/she is overseeing.
There are, of course, pros and cons of the new model, as reported in the article. But what it really shows is how critical and competitive a strong pipeline is for asset-light, publicly listed global chains, which must increase their share value amid mixed results due to factors such as the trade war and Hong Kong protests, as their latest earnings, which Skift has reported, show.
We never thought we would see the day when a regional head of a chain would be someone who comes from a purely development background, as Rajit Sukumaran has. He will replace Clarence Tan as InterContinental Hotels Group's managing director of Southeast Asia and Korea come February 1, 2020.
Then again, once upon a time, a general manager that came from a food and beverage background, rather than operations, was a rare breed.
The only constant is Bob Dylan's song The Times They Are a-Changin'.