Michael Blake has been an active HTNG supporter since shortly after joining Hyatt Hotels Corporation as its CIO in 2009. He served on HTNG’s Board of Directors from 2010 through early 2015, and as Treasurer from 2012 through early 2015. Blake’s history includes roles as CIO at Commune Hotels + Resorts as well as Hyatt, and senior financial positions at First Data Corporation, Kaiser Permanente, Sears and United Airlines. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Utah, an MBA in Finance and Economics from the University of Chicago and a Master of Technology in Computer Science from Northwestern University.
HTNG’s Chief Executive Officer oversees day-to-day operations of the organization and supervises a staff of nine professionals. The position reports to an all-volunteer Board of Governors and President, drawn from top-level IT executives from 21 hotel groups from around the world.
HTNG’s President Monika Nerger, Global CIO of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, said “Michael Blake was selected after a very thorough and competitive search process. HTNG’s Succession Committee, which was appointed last year by the HTNG board, did an outstanding job,” said Nerger. “The selection of Michael Blake was the culmination of a rigorous process. We looked at leadership potential, business acumen, technology credentials and personal credibility, all of which Michael brings to the organization as its next CEO. We are very pleased with the outcome and I look forward to working with Michael going forward.”
Commenting on his selection, Michael Blake said “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be the next CEO of HTNG, and I look forward to building on its successes to date and creating many new ones in the years to come.”
Blake succeeds Douglas Rice, who was a founder of HTNG in 2002 and later became its first permanent staff executive. Rice has served nearly eleven years in his current role, growing the organization from a grass-roots startup to its current position as the leading trade association serving hospitality technology globally. “The board and members of HTNG owe Douglas Rice gratitude for taking what was really just an idea, first helping to make it a reality, and sticking with it for 13 years to make it the successful and positive force in the industry that it is today,” said Monika Nerger.
Rice will retain the title of Founder and CEO Emeritus after his retirement from HTNG. Rice said, “I have been incredibly privileged to have the opportunity to work with so many dedicated people over the years. It’s the right time to make way for the next generation of leadership, and I am fully supportive of Mike Blake as my successor. While he has the challenges of running the organization after August, I will still look forward to supporting him, and the organization, as a volunteer for many years to come.”