Hyatt has a new Head of Loyalty… from Starwood

We received news earlier today announcing that Mark Vondrasek has been appointed as Hyatt’s executive vice president and global head of loyalty & new business platforms.

Park Hyatt Goa Presidential Suite

Park Hyatt Goa Presidential Suite

You may recall that Jeff Zidell, ex. Head of Loyalty resigned from Hyatt after handling the Hyatt Gold Passport for a decade. This was only a few weeks after the new World of Hyatt program was introduced. A loyalty that makes it more difficult for Hyatt loyalists, particularly the ones residing outside the US where the group has a rather small footprint.

Now, today Mark Vondrasek takes over as EVP and Global Head of Loyalty. Mark has spent 15 years in various leadership roles at Starwood and in his new role, he will be responsible for both loyalty and Hyatt’s wellness initiatives including Miraval and Exhale.

It was under Mark’s guidance that Starwood added additional benefits to the 75 and 100-night levels and introducing the concept of digital concierge for elite guests. One of them is that after completing 100 nights in a calendar year you are assigned Starwood Ambassador which basically means that you have a single point of contact at Starwood who can help you with just about any request.

Here is the press release that Hyatt issued :

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) today announced the selection of Mark Vondrasek as executive vice president, global head of loyalty & new business platforms, reporting to Mark Hoplamazian, president and chief executive officer. In this newly created leadership position, Vondrasek will direct Hyatt’s integrated experience strategy, which currently includes the World of Hyatt loyalty platform as well as Hyatt’s wellness initiatives including Miraval and exhale. Vondrasek will also be charged with creating and scaling new business opportunities, products and services.

Vondrasek joins Hyatt with more than 25 years of experience in building strong brands through the effective integration of marketing and operations. Most recently, he spent 15 years in leadership roles at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the latest of which as senior vice president and commercial services officer. In the position, Vondrasek was responsible for the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program, 10 customer contact centers, mobile applications, digital initiatives, business-to-business sales strategy, revenue management and sales. During his tenure at Starwood, he spearheaded many of the company’s most successful loyalty initiatives as well as oversaw Starwood’s strategic marketing partnerships. Vondrasek also held previous roles at Northern Trust, Fidelity Investments and Kemper Financial Services.

I am hoping that the new leadership will bring positive changes to the World of Hyatt.  I’m also excited to see what new promotions and partnerships Hyatt will come up with, especially the ones to boost loyalty in the Asia-Pacific region where the brand has a smaller footprint though great service levels.

If you had a chance to suggest what would you like changed/ amended in the World of Hyatt program?

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