Thorsten Kirschke, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Carlson Hotels, The Americas, is responsible for leading the strategy, management and key functional support areas for the four brands of Carlson Hotels in North America and Latin America. The brands include Radisson®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM.
Kirschke’s top priorities include supporting Carlson in its Radisson re-launch, a USD 1.5 billion investment into repositioning and elevating the Radisson brand in the Americas. He’s also working to ensure the continued growth of the company’s portfolio of hotel brands throughout the region as vibrant and contemporary leaders in the industry. He supports key development initiatives, including accelerating the growth of Radisson and Country Inns & Suites to 2,000 hotels by 2015, and boosting the expansion of the globally successful Park Inn by Radisson brand in North America.
Executive leadership and support teams reporting directly to Kirschke include the executive vice president and chief operating officer for the select-service brands, including managed hotels. Kirschke leads operations for the full-service brands. Other areas that report to him include Business Development and Investment, Revenue Generation, Technical Services, Human Resources and Legal. Kirschke reports directly to Trudy Rautio, Carlson president and chief executive officer who also leads Carlson Hotels.
Kirschke, who was born in Hannover, Germany, is a hospitality veteran with 23 years of experience. He most recently served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer for The Rezidor Hotel Group based in Brussels, Belgium. Carlson is the main shareholder of Rezidor, which is one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world.
Kirschke joined The Rezidor Hotel Group in 1995 in Corporate Food & Beverage and then held various management positions in all areas of Rezidor’s master franchise operations around the world including Russia, China, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. Since 2002, he served as Area Vice President of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux, South East Europe, Switzerland and Italy. Kirschke also has been a member of Rezidor’s Executive Committee.
Kirschke earned a Master’s degree in the Hospitality Industry from IMHI Essec University in Paris, France.