The Four Seasons Goes to Paris

Topics: Hotel, Hospitality industry, Hotels Pages: 5 (1712 words) Published: April 20, 2011
HBS | The Four Seasons Goes to Paris


a) Description of company in general terms

Isadore Sharp founded Four Seasons in 1960. Four Seasons is a Canadian international luxury hotel company. The first Four Seasons hotel opened in 1961 in Toronto, Canada. The 1970s began with a defining moment, the opening of a hotel in London. This hotel set the future of the company and pioneered many of the signature Four Seasons services, now delivered worldwide. In 1976, the company entered the US market with its first management contract for San Francisco’s 1913 landmark hotel, The Clift. In 1999, Four Seasons opened its first French property, the Hotel George V in Paris. In 2003, the company managed 53 properties in 24 countries. Today, Four Seasons is managing 84 properties in 34 countries providing high-quality, truly personalized service to enable guests to maximize the value of their time.

b) Description of company business areas

As a financial point of view, we can observe that the capital stock between 2000 and 2001 increased 0,89 %. The retained earnings have also increased 41% between the both two years, which means that they reinvest in the company to develop the quality of services offered.Four Seasons has around 33,000 employees today. The reputation of Four seasons is worldwide that means they have a strong well-know brand.

One thing that it is important to notice, is that Four Seasons does not own all of its properties, it operates them on behalf of real estate owners. The contracts between them typically permit the company to participate in the design of the property and run it with nearly total control over every aspect of the operation.

Over its history, Four Seasons made four strategic decisions that formed the pillars of its business; quality, service, culture and the brand itself.

c) Key players in the case study and their roles

Four Seasons Company has many important key players that we have to know. Isadore Sharp is a Canadian businessman, founder and chairman of Four Seasons. The President and Chief Executive Officer is Kathleen Taylor. Jim FitzGibbon is the President Worldwide Hotel Operations. Nick Mutton is the Executive Vice President Human Resources and Administration. The Executive Vice President Worldwide Development is Scoot Woroch. John Davison is the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Residential. Antoine Corinthios, President Europe, Middle East and Africa. Susan Helstab is the Executive Vice President Marketing.

d) Relevant time frame of the case

The case of Four Seasons is a relevant time frame because the manner that they manage their current affaires, such as marketing, has never changed. They have chosen to specialize within the hospitality industry by offering only experiences of exceptional quality. They create properties of enduring value using superior design and finishes. They support them with a deeply instilled ethic of personal service. Four Seasons satisfy the needs and tastes of their discriminating customers, to maintain his position as the world’s premier luxury hospitality company. What changes is that people do it with their own style, grace and personality; in some cultures they add the strong local temperament. “Each hotel is tailor made” and adapted to its national environment. The CEO changed and the number of Hotels has changed also.

II. ANALYSIS QUESTIONS: Problem Identification, Alternatives, Recommandations, & Implementation

1. Does corporate culture play a role in Four Seasons’ success? If so, how and why?

Corporate culture plays a role in Four Seasons’ success because of Four Seasons’ Approach to International Growth.

According to Corinthios, President Europe, Middle East and Africa, “our strength is our diversity and our singularity. While the essence of the local culture may vary, the process for opening and operating a hotel is the...
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