Mirza to Leverage Extensive Background in Launching Global Businesses to Lead sbe’s Growth into International Markets
LOS ANGELES, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — sbe, an industry-leading hospitality, lifestyle, content and real estate development company, today announced the addition of accomplished global business leader Alexander Mirza as Managing Director of sbe International. The news underscores sbe’s commitment to expanding globally its award-winning hospitality collection, which is led by SLS Hotels, resorts and residences, Katsuya by Starck, The Bazaar by Jose Andres and Hyde nightclubs.
“We want to inspire our customers and employees to think bigger and think bolder, to achieve incredible things,” said sbe Founder, Chairman and CEO Sam Nazarian. “SLS is the manifestation of that belief and I’m excited that sbe’s first international foray will be the introduction of this brand.”
sbe is focused on developing projects and brands that become world icons and fundamentally change the landscape for future developers. The management team is led by a consistent belief that customers deserve more creativity, more style, more luxury, more service, and more humanity. Nowhere is that approach more evident that with sbe’s SLS Hotels brand. What began in 2008 with the launch of the transcendent SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills has grown to include the highly anticipated SLS Hotel South Beach, opening in May, and upcoming SLS Hotels openings in Las Vegas and New York in 2014.
“Most hotel brands use the same designers, vendors and technology platforms and it takes them years to change their standards and respond to changes in customer behavior. That’s why they all look and feel the same,” continued Nazarian. “In contrast, we do our R&D in-house and have proprietary process that can rapidly create new concepts and brands. This allows us to enter new markets and customize our approach to exceed the needs of our customers and partners.”
Mirza, will collaborate with Nazarian to develop and launch sbe brands in fast-growing markets such as Greater China, India, Latin America, Europe and Africa, with an initial focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
“With the addition of Alexander, a seasoned global business development executive with expertise and a proven track record, sbe is very well positioned for this growth,” concluded Nazarian.
“In going global, sbe and its collection of brands will be a ‘disruptive innovator’ focused on creating entirely new categories and product segments,” added Mirza. “For example, in China we are not just pursuing 5-star luxury hotels and resorts, but simultaneously creating a new category of lifestyle properties that will serve domestic travelers. This fast growing market is characterized by travelers who seek aspirational experiences and value for money. I’m very pleased to have an opportunity to work alongside Sam, a visionary in the industry, to establish sbe’s global footprint.”
Prior to joining sbe, Mirza was Senior Vice President and Head of Caesars Global Life, the non gaming hospitality division of one of the world’s largest gaming and diversified entertainment companies with properties in the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific and Canada. During his time with Caesars, Mirza led the team that successfully negotiated Caesars’ first destination resort in China, as well as several lifestyle restaurant brand partnerships across the country.
Mirza has an extensive background in international corporate development and management consulting to government and business leaders in nearly every continent. He was previously Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for Hilton Hotels, overseeing its Food and Beverage business and implementing numerous restaurant deals. This included facilitating the creation of the Waldorf Astoria luxury brand with initial developments in Maui, Palm Springs, Shanghai and Orlando. Mirza also developed Hilton’s LVMH luxury spa brand partnership, including the Waldorf New York flagship spa. Prior to Hilton, Mirza was Vice President and Head of Strategic Planning at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, where he worked on corporate strategy and luxury brand initiatives addressing product innovation and service personalization on behalf of the office of the CEO.
Mirza began his career in management consulting, advising heads of state, CEOs and international organizations such as the World Economic Forum where he authored a study on Innovative Leaders in Globalization. His consulting career culminated with his promotion to Partner with Accenture’s global consumer strategy practice.
Honored by Canadian Business Magazine as “One of Canada‘s Top International Executives,” Mirza holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MA and BA from Queen’s University at Kingston where he was an Aga Khan Foundation Scholar in international relations.
Founded in 2002, Los Angeles-based sbe brings exquisite balance to the worlds of hospitality, real estate development and entertainment. As a privately-held company founded and helmed by Chairman and CEO Sam Nazarian, sbe acquires, develops and manages exceptional projects through its divisions – Hotels, Restaurants, Nightlife and Real Estate. With a mission to redefine the standards of excellence in hospitality, sbe has harnessed the creativity and innovation of the best minds in the business, including design visionary Philippe Starck, with whom the company has an exclusive agreement for the creation of hotels, restaurants and lounges in North America. As the cornerstone of its synergistic approach, sbe has also completely rethought and reimagined the luxury hotel experience. sbe debuted its luxury hotel brand, SLS Hotels, with the fall 2008 opening of SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, which has won international acclaim and numerous awards. In May 2012, sbe will unveil the SLS Hotel South Beach in Miami. In 2010, sbe launched its second hotel brand, The Redbury, located in the heart of Hollywood. Also in the sbe Hotel collection is the Four Points by Sheraton LAX. sbe’s Restaurant and Nightlife Groups constantly stay ahead of the curve, creating and expanding trend-setting concepts, which currently include 8 Katsuya locations (Hollywood, Brentwood, Downtown at L.A. LIVE, Glendale, Laguna Beach, Houston, San Diego and Miami), The Bazaar by Jose Andres in Beverly Hills and Miami, Cleo, Gladstones, Papaya King, Mercato di Vetro, 6 Hyde Lounge locations (Sunset, STAPLES Center, Mammoth Mountain, Miami, Bellagio Hotel & Casino and American Airlines Arena), The Abbey Food & Bar, Greystone Manor, The Colony, MyHouse, MyStudio, Eden, Crimson, East and The Sayers Club. Recently, sbe established a strategic marketing partnership with MGM Resorts International, which unites MGM’s M Life and sbe’s PREFERRED PARTNER programs. In December 2010, Colony Capital, led by Founder, Chairman and CEO Thomas J. Barrack Jr., partnered with sbe through a minority investment focused on the national and international expansion of sbe’s award-winning hospitality platform. In July 2011, sbe invested in Umami Burger, named “Burger of the Year” by GQ magazine, to fuel the burger brand’s national expansion.