Gary Murray, CEO of Destination Group was awarded CEO of the Year 2022 from Thailand Employer Brand Awards. Destination Group is an industry leader in Thailand’s hospitality industry owning hotels, resorts, hostels, and restaurants. Best Employer Brand Awards are organized by World HRD Congress to the top CEO in Thailand that has demonstrated excellent leadership in managing their organization. Previous year’s winner of the CEO of the Year award was given to Mr. Phongsthorn Thavisin, former CEO of PTTEP PCL. Other winners this year included: UOB Bank, PTT PCL, Krungthai Axa Life Insurance PCL , Bumrungrad Hospital, Amari Hotels, The Athenee Hotel, Ericsson Thailand, Indorama Ventures PCL, Advance Info Services PCL (AIS) and Ngern Tid Lor PCL.
Murray’s ability to guide Destination Group successfully thru the pandemic, centralize and optimize the business operations, and at the same time position the businesses for growth beyond the pandemic. During the pandemic, Destination Group successfully grew the company in the midst of the most dramatic industry upheaval in the hospitality industry ever seen, not only survived but expanded its business operations into the new post-pandemic business model, acquired several large resorts, and expanded its hostel business to become the 2nd largest hostel company in the world.
The hospitality business was most affected during the past two years with many hotels and restaurants shuttering their doors for good. Everything was shut down in March 2020 when international travel came to a halt, restaurants and hotels were ordered closed by the government and curfews imposed. Destination Group took the opportunity to acquire new hotels and restaurants, expanded into the cloud kitchen restaurant model, and grew its hostel business regionally from 5 hostels to more than 50 today.
“As the CEO of the Group, at the outset of the pandemic, it was my primary responsibility is to make sure the Company survives this unprecedented storm., said Murray We had to develop new sources of revenue, keep our team members working, pay our interest to our banks and lenders, and pivot the company to the new businesses opportunities of the post-pandemic world. We took a calculated gamble that the hospitality industry in Thailand would come back strong once the pandemic was over.
The CEO of the Year was awarded to Gary Murray for his leadership in successfully managing his team thru the pandemic and pivoting their post pandemic growth. Murray accepted the award on behalf o of his team that made it all happen. Teamwork across all business units is our key driver in propelling Destination Group to emerge as a ready-to-move-forward company with high international standard, whilst growing stronger and more sustainable in a post-pandemic world.