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CIO Spotlight: Floor Bleeker, Mövenpick Group

Floor Bleeker wanted to be a chef, maybe a trader, but IT was not on his radar, until he was offered an internship at a small IT company in Aruba; the rest, as they say, is history.

floor bleeker movenpick group
Mövenpick Group / IDG

Mövenpick Group CIO Floor Bleeker is responsible for IT strategy, program development and implementation across the group. He also oversees the IT shared service organization covering Mövenpick Group, Mövenpick Marché Restaurants, Mövenpick Fine Food and Mövenpick Wine. Prior to joining Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Floor worked with the Jumeirah Group in Dubai, UAE for over 12 years. He was recently named president of HTNG, the world’s largest hospitality technology organization. Here he discusses how he got into IT and the importance of good company culture.

What was your first job? I started a party business with a couple of friends when we were in high school — mainly because we liked going to parties ourselves. We didn’t make much money, but we had a lot of fun doing it.  

Did you always want to work in IT? Definitely not! When I was very young I wanted to be a chef and when I got a bit older I wanted to be a trader. Going to hotel management school was the happy medium I guess, and I ended up in IT by chance. In my second year I didn’t really want a service or kitchen internship and one of the options left was in EDP (what we called IT back then) in a small company in Aruba. A week after I started my boss left and I took over the department. I was very lucky to have such an understanding general manager because I had no clue. However, I did love it and have been working in IT ever since.

Tell us about your career path. I started off as a management trainee in Radisson in Belgium just before Y2K, when IT was in high demand. After doing my MBA I joined The Emirates Academy in Dubai as the IT manager and progressed through several different roles within Jumeirah. Eventually I became vice president of business solutions. I then moved to Mövenpick in Switzerland as their CIO. 

What business or technology initiatives will be most significant in driving IT investments in your organization in the coming year? Our Mövenpick brand promise, ‘we make moments.’ is the catalyst for a transformation process that has impacts across the business. In IT we have a key part to play in reinventing the customer experience to deliver on this promise. As a result, most of our IT investments this year are directed to a new CRM platform and an enhanced digital customer experience. This commercial systems program has involved a complete revamp of our distribution, revenue management and customer recognition systems to deliver a suite of fully mobile-enabled cloud-based tools. 

What are the CEO's top priorities for you in the coming year? How do you plan to support the business with IT? The commercial transformation I mentioned is a top priority for all of us in the executive team. We are also on track to add 15 percent to the portfolio this year and, as CIO, it is important that IT is agile enough to support such aggressive growth. We have streamlined our solutions so that we can now fully integrate a new hotel within six weeks. A third priority is enhancing our corporate culture; communication and collaboration across virtual teams is increasingly important and IT has a fundamental role in providing the tools to facilitate this. 

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