Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has brought together a highly experienced team of talented hospitality professionals to lead its development.
Chief Executive Officer
Sonia Cheng leads a team of seasoned industry professionals to spearhead the regional and international expansion of Rosewood Hotel Group. Ms. Cheng is also executive director of New World Development Company Limited and New World China Land which comprise one of the largest conglomerates in Hong Kong.
Before joining Rosewood Hotel Group, Ms. Cheng worked with a major international investment bank and a global American private equity firm, specialising in real estate investments. She is a chairman of the advisory committees of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and a member of the advisory committee of the School of Hotel & Tourism Management Industry at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She is a member of the Y. Elites Association, the Young Presidents’ Organisation and the Hong Kong United Youth Association. Ms. Cheng holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Mathematics with a concentration in Economics from Harvard University.
Chief Development Officer
Karl Bieberach-Dielman leads the global development and feasibility team to strategically expand the footprint for the group’s three distinct brands. With more than 20 years experience in development, Mr. Bieberach-Dielman has worked extensively in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the U.S. Prior to joining Rosewood, he held a variety of senior roles during his 15-year tenure at Starwood Hotels & Resorts including vice president, head of European development; vice president of development based in Paris; vice president of feasibility and investment analysis for Europe, Africa and Middle East; and director of acquisitions and development in EAME. Prior to Starwood, he was director of development planning and feasibility in Latin America and the Caribbean at Marriott International. Mr. Bieberach-Dielman is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and speaks English, Spanish and French.
Chief Information Officer – Global
Bringing over thirty years of hospitality and technology experience, Micah Friedman will lead the global IT organization and work with Rosewood Hotel Group’s leaders to craft and drive a digital business transformation that will create better experiences for guests, associates, management and owners. Most recently, Micah led travel and hospitality management consulting for Cognizant Technology Solutions and previously oversaw Oracle Corporation’s hospitality industry business unit. Prior to joining Oracle, Micah served as Enterprise Architect for a major private equity firm and held technology leadership positions at renowned clubs and resorts.
Chief Talent and Culture Officer
Shelley joins us to lead the global human resources organization, providing strategic guidance and support to the group and be a critical part in further reinforcing our human capital to meet the overall organization’s growth plan. Her focus will be building on the current culture and momentum through the selection, development and engagement of colleagues.
Shelley brings more than two decades’ experience to her role. Most recently, based in Paris, she was the senior vice president-talent management, with a focus on global talent acquisition and development for Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel (FRHI). This followed her position as vice president at FRHI from 2014; where Accor Hotels retained Shelley’s services after acquiring the group in 2016.
Her international experience also led her to Asia earlier in her career. In 2011, Shelley was appointed as group director of human resources for Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, based in Hong Kong, where for three years she was responsible for all aspects of human resources.
Previously, Shelley spent 15 years with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, where she started her career in operational roles, then into human resources in various capacities around the world. Shelley directly participated in The Ritz-Carlton’s rapid expansion into international markets.
Shelley holds a graduate certificate in management from Central Queensland University and is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management.
Group Vice President of Global Operations
Achim Lenders joined Rosewood Hotel Group with over 30 years of experience in food and beverage and operations in the luxury sector. Most recently, he served as Starwood’s global vice president of food and beverage, where he drove the implementation of best-in-class practices across its luxury brands. Born and raised in Germany, Achim received his culinary training and degree there, working as a chef in restaurants in the region before launching his career in hospitality.
Senior Vice President – General Counsel and Group Head of Legal
Michael Dojlidko has nearly 20 years’ experience in corporate law, specializing in mergers and acquisitions for public and private companies, hotel agreements and real estate dispositions. His previous 12 years at Starwood Hotels & Resorts culminated in his role as senior vice president, general counsel – EAME (Europe, Africa, Middle East), where he oversaw all legal matters for the division.
Group Vice President – Design and Project Services
As group vice president of design and project services, Trish Luyckx has over two decades’ experience in hotel operations and technical services, and product design, with previous projects under her supervision spanning the Americas, Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Prior to joining Rosewood Hotel Group, Ms. Luyckx held various positions with the Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Hyatt International for more than 19 years including vice president of product and brand design and vice president of operational planning.
Group Vice President Guest Experience and Wellness
Niamh O’Connell is group vice president of guest experience and wellness and leads the strategic global development of spa, wellness and recreation operations for the group’s existing hotels and new projects. A native of Ireland, Ms. O’Connell has more than 22 years’ spa industry experience with hotel groups and independent spa brands. Prior to joining Rosewood Hotel Group, Ms. O’Connell held various senior positions in Hyatt International Hotels & Resorts including vice president of spa. Previously she was vice president of operations in Asia Pacific for ESPA International.
Group Vice President - Food & Beverage
Ivan Suardi has more than 22 years’ experience in the food and beverage industry, conceptualising new restaurants and supporting the technical and culinary aspects of luxury hotel food and beverage projects. Before joining Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Suardi was the Director of Food and Beverage projects in Asia Pacific for Hyatt International. He was with Hyatt Hotels for more than 16 years in Hong Kong, Taipei, Manila, Almaty, Jakarta and Dubai.
Vice President - Engineering, Sustainability, Security
Prior to joining Rosewood Hotel Group, Hakan Akgün spent over 25 years with Hyatt Hotels Corporation focusing on technical/design services, operations and sustainability. Most recently, for six years he headed the engineering and sustainability function for the Americas region for Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Prior to that Mr. Akgün was the vice president of engineering design and operations for Hyatt International where his oversight included all regions outside North America and the Caribbean for the design and construction of building systems, engineering operations, maintenance and facility management, and sustainability programmes for full-service hotels.
Mr. Akgün holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, and an Executive MBA degree from Bogazici University. He also completed a certification program at Cornell University in Hotel Real Estate Investments and Asset Management.
Vice President - Brand Marketing and Communications
Robert Cheng has two decades of experience in strategy, marketing and business development across a variety of industries in the U.S., U.K., France, Hong Kong and mainland China. Prior to joining Rosewood, Cheng was group vice president of marketing for The Peninsula Hotels following a year as director of sales and marketing for The Peninsula Shanghai. Previously, he served as global marketing director for De Beers Diamond Jewellers, business development manager for the London-based developers, Candy & Candy, and director of international premium products for American Express managing Centurion and Platinum card portfolios. He started his career as a strategy consultant with the Monitor Group in New York City.
Vice President – Development, Asia Pacific
Noel Merainer leads the group’s expansion in the region for its four distinct brands. With 17 years hospitality industry experience, Mr. Merainer is experienced in the Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe and North America hotel markets. Prior to joining Rosewood, he held various positions at Marriott International for eight years including vice president, development planning and feasibility for Asia Pacific. He was also regional director of revenue management at Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts following six years in operations with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Mr. Merainer graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration.
Vice President - Human Resources Development
Vannessa's hospitality career started soon after when she joined the Marriott Group. She has over ten years experience in human resources management and progressed continuously within the luxury hospitality space. Most recently, she was the regional director of human resources - Americas for COMO Hotels & Resorts.
Vannessa oversees human resources systems and initiatives, driving global strategies to further strengthen our corporate culture and support the company's growth and development across the brands.
Vice President, Financial Controller – Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa
Following a term at manufacturing company Kohler Co., as Director of Finance for the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa territories, Jack Xiao joins Rosewood as a key member of the brand’s global finance leadership team to support companywide corporate initiatives. Before his time with Kohler, Jack served as Financial Controller of premium rubber producer GMG Global Ltd. His extensive experience also includes a variety of senior finance executive roles for industrial supply company W. W. Grainger, electrification, automation and digitalization powerhouse Siemens, and digital technology leader ABB Group.