FOR the first time in a history spanning more than 140 years, Crieff Hydro Hotel, in Perthshire, has appointed a senior manager outside the bloodline of the family-run business.
John Jennett, formerly sales and marketing director of the hotel, takes over the role of managing director from Stephen Leckie, who represented the fifth generation of his family to run the hotel.
Mr Leckie assumes the role of chief executive of the £17 million company, focusing on opportunities for growth.
In his new role, John Jennett will oversee the development of the Crieff Hydro brand with a particular focus on maintaining the culture and reputation for which the leisure and conference resort is renowned.
John has had a varied career, in a range of sectors from IT to hotel finance and management.
He was managing director and shareholder with Freedom of the Glen Hotels until the group was sold in 2006.
Under his stewardship, the estate was expanded, revenue increased and the group won awards for both staff training and development, and customer service.
Since joining Crieff Hydro, he has overseen an extensive rebranding and positioning exercise to complement the recent multimillion pound refurbishment of the hotel, as well as implementing a ‘pride and passion’ programme among the 500 staff.
With a degree in music and an MA in creative writing, Glasgow-born John is a successful published author, winning the Sceptre Prize for his Hebridean-set novel, Manadh, and a string of awards for his short stories and poetry.
He believes his unique mix of the creative and the commercial underlines his success in business and his ability to lead winning teams.
Commenting on his appointment, John Jennett said: “These are exciting times for Crieff Hydro and it has never been more important for the resort, and indeed Scotland, to maintain its competitive edge and capitalise on increasing interest in Scotland as tourism destination.
“As the country’s leading independent leisure resort, we are competing side-by-side with international brands. In that respect, we need to continually invest in the Hydro brand to ensure it continues to be relevant to loyal audiences who have visited for generations while attracting new markets that will give us the generations of visitors in the future.”
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