Prof. Michel Rochat
CEO, EHL Group
CEO, EHL Group
Chief Operating Officer & Deputy CEO, EHL Group
After having completed his undergraduate degree in agricultural science in Paris, Maxime Medina obtained a post-graduate Business Analyst diploma in Geneva in information sciences. He further took executive courses in economics and management, in Europe, the Middle East and the United States.
Maxime Medina began his career as an IT engineer in the world of finance and private banking. Entrepreneur by nature, he set up his own business and marketed an innovative and pioneering development tool from the Israel technological universities throughout Switzerland. He then created a second company in the e-business sector.
For many years, he managed large-scale international projects, thereby gaining a great deal of practical experience in a wide variety of fields such as industrial production in the luxury industry, distribution, international NGOs, private banking, sport, energy, pharma, publishing, biotech and the public sector. He managed over 200 projects as both CEO and CTO, and was regularly called in by many companies to carry out technological and business assessments. He then drew on his experience for six years, providing active support for start-ups and launching new business activities in hi-tech companies.
During this varied period, he was consulted by large firms such as the Safra group, Nestlé, Ringier, the United Nations Organization, Groupe E, the Swatch Group, Victorinox, Novartis, and cantonal authorities of Western Switzerland.
Meeting with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne management in 2008 as a consultant, he designed and aligned all of EHL’s educational programs on the EU Bologna standards. After its completion, the institution offered him a senior position to manage cross-disciplinary projects, with the aim of introducing a new culture on how to process and manage projects at EHL. His wide experience in this field led him to establish the Project Management Office (known as the PMO), which supervises the school’s entire strategic project portfolio. At the start of 2012, he joined the Executive Committee of EHL in his capacity of Secretary General, mainly responsible for implementing the school’s overall strategy. In 2017 Mr Medina was named Chief Asset Management Officer and led the new campus development project in Lausanne. Mr Medina was named Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO in 2019.
Chief Culture & Marketing Officer
Pascal Gauthier joined Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in 2013 as Director of Human Resources. He has held the position of Chief Human Resources Officer for EHL Group since January 2016, and was named Chief Culture and Marketing Officer in May 2019. In this newest position Mr Gauthier plays a crucial role in driving EHL brand strategy for the group and its entities. He is also active in the development of company strategy by structuring the workforce, implementing modern human resources techniques and fostering internal and external communication. These actions enable EHL to nurture its network and reinforce its position not only as a ‘thought leader’ and center of expertise for the hospitality industry but as also as a major employer on the national and international academic market. These activities also help to create and implement synergies transversally between units, in order to support growth and potential international development.
Before joining EHL, Mr Gauthier held the position of Corporate Vice President of Learning and Development for Hyatt Hotels Corporation – International Operations until January 2013. He started his career with Hyatt in 1987 and was based at property level for 13 years, holding various training and human resources functions, including area roles, in countries such as Switzerland, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, French Polynesia and Spain. Since January 2000, he had moved to a divisional role as Director of Human Resources for Hyatt International (Europe Africa Middle East) LLC before taking on, at a corporate level, the lead of the Learning & Development Division in 2010.
Mr Gauthier is passionate and has strong relational and mentoring skills; he loves communication and is a strong team player. He is currently a member of the Lausanne Rotary Club and the Confrérie du Guillon, and holds a position on the Board of Prévotel.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Tony Morales joined the EHL Executive Committee in August 2018 as Chief Financial Officer, bringing to EHL an extensive international business experience across multiple industry sectors, including hospitality.
Prior to joining EHL, Mr. Morales started his professional carrier spending 10 years at KPMG in Switzerland, from 1990 to 2000. During his tenure there, he managed teams supporting clients in various industries, in Switzerland and internationally, as well as in the public sector. His activities covered audit, transaction services and tax advisory. On request of cantonal Courts, he issued various expert opinions and carried out companies’ curatorship. He also held management positions as responsible for the KPMG Neuchâtel office and as member of the Executive team of KPMG Suisse Romande.
In 2000, Mr. Morales joined Hyatt Hotel Corporation (HHC), where he spent sixteen years in various finance leadership roles, most recently heading the finance, risk and tax functions of HHC Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia business unit. During his tenure, Mr Morales notably supported the Group’s growth efforts within various management contracts and real estate transactions, as well as oversaw construction projects of four proprietary hotels in continental Europe, out of which three Park Hyatts. He led at the business unit level HHC multiyear readiness efforts ending up in HHC initial public offering, in 2009. He oversaw finance teams of three regional offices in Zurich, Dubai and Delhi, of the HHC European shared services center in Mainz, and of 70 hotels located in 28 countries.
From 2016, prior to moving to EHL, Mr. Morales was the Global Chief Financial Officer for Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours, a global tour operator, owning a river vessels fleet on the main European rivers and in South Asia. He led the finance, risk and tax functions with teams in Australia, Switzerland, Malta, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Mr. Morales earned a Swiss Certified Accountant Diploma from EXPERTsuisse in Zurich. He also holds a Master of Science in Economics, Political Economy, from the University of Neuchâtel.
As of June 25, 2020, Mr Tony Morales joined the Board of Directors of EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality.
Chief Academic Officer, EHL Group
Born in Barcelona, Spain, Dr. Juan F. Perellon holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Political Science from the University of Lausanne, and a PhD from the Institute of Education, University of London.
Higher education policy is Dr. Perellon’s domain of expertise. Areas of specialization include all aspects of Higher Education and Research, as well as the development of quality assurance and accreditation systems. After gaining his PhD, Dr. Perellon served as the head of the Higher Education Department at the Lausanne Federal Institute of Technology.
In 2005, Dr. Perellon joined the Board of Higher Education of the State of Vaud. As a direct policy advisor to the Minister of Education, he developed an evidenced-based approach to higher education that was critical to the formulation of new State legislation. He was promoted to Director of University Affairs in 2008, where he led the development and implementation of strategic plans for the University of Lausanne and the Teacher Training University of Lausanne. In 2012, Dr. Perellon became Deputy Director General of the Board of Higher Education for the Canton de Vaud.
Dr. Perellon joined EHL on 1 March 2013 as Quality and Accreditation Director, a role in which he was a key player, notably in the re-accreditation of EHL by NECHE and in the renegotiation of the Association Agreement with the HES-SO. Promoted to the position of Executive Director Accreditation and Risk Management in 2017, Dr. Perellon was subsequently appointed Chief Risk & Compliance Officer on 1 January 2018 and thus joined the Holding's Executive Committee.
Since 1 December 2019, Dr Perellon is Chief Academic Officer of EHL Group and formulates the transversal strategy of the EHL Group in terms of practical and academic training, in Switzerland and abroad. Furthermore, he oversees the academic quality and accreditation of EHL Group schools and their study programs, with the aim of continuous improvement and promotion of the EHL brand.
As of June 25, 2020, Dr. Juan-Francisco Perellon joined the Board of Directors of EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality.
Chief Business Development Officer, EHL Group
Senior Managing Director, EHL Advisory Services
Olivier Roux studied Business and Economics at the University of Lausanne (HEC), where he obtained a Master of Business and Economics in 1985. He began his professional career with IBM Switzerland where he took on sales responsibilities before accepting several leadership positions initially in Zurich, Switzerland, and then moving to the global headquarters in New York to lead the global insurance strategy and marketing for three years.
In 2000, Olivier Roux joined Accenture to lead the business development and sales & marketing for the Financial Services sector. Primary achievements include contributing to the business strategy that led to repeated double digits of annual growth. He was appointed partner in 2006, and in 2007, Mr. Roux expanded his responsibilities to lead a global team of 500 professionals across 42 mature and 10 developing countries, including a marketing shared service function based in Delhi, Manila and South Africa.
In September 2014, Mr. Roux and his family relocated to Lausanne, Switzerland, where he accepted a position as Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for EHL Group. As a member of the Executive Committee he oversaw Business Development, Marketing, Communications, Admissions and Alumni and Industry Relations for the Group.
From September 2018, he took on the role of Senior Managing Director of EHL Group’s consulting branch, in addition to his mandate as Chief Business Development Officer for EHL Group. Within these extended responsibilities, Mr. Roux oversees the continuous development of EHL Advisory Services activities with offices in Lausanne, Delhi, Shanghai and Beijing, and operations in over 30 countries worldwide.
Chief Innovation Officer
A graduate from Reims Management School and from the London Polytechnic, Rémi Walbaum turned soon to entrepreneurship. In 1989, he created his first company, Axe Communication, in order to be part of the big digitalization changes in communication and media that were happening at the time. With Axe Communication, Mr Walbaum organized the content of Swisscom’s interactive TV platform and created the first interactive booths for the Olympic Museum, and also the first e-commerce sites of Nestlé and Coca-Cola.
In 1998, Mr Walbaum co-founded leshop.ch website. He played an important role in the design of the website structure and then in the business development.
From 2002 to 2004, Mr Walbaum became Managing Director of Create Switzerland, an association that aimed to help young people set up a business and along the same lines, he joined in 2004 Venturelab, proving his expertise in coaching young entrepreneurs.
In 2005, he created the Fleur de Pains bakery chain, which further developed into a network of 10 outlets in the Lausanne area. Over the same period, he joined the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne as Professor of Entrepreneurship for students in the Master program and also the HEC Lausanne as Professor of Entrepreneurship and SME Management.
In November 2010, Mr Walbaum became Operations and Administration Director, then from March 2012, Campus Development Director and since 2016, he occupies the position of Chief Innovation Officer. One activity at a time is not enough for this hyperactive man. Thus, from May 2012 to December 2019, he was appointed President of CGN Holding and CGN SA and since February 2013 onwards he is acting as President of Innovaud, a cantonal initiative to promote the innovation of regional companies. These opportunities came by thanks to the excellent relations that the EHL has with the State Councilor of the Vaud canton.
More recently, he graduated in 2017 from Stanford Business School for the Stanford Executive Program 2016. Currently, he is setting out the basis for the EHL Group to pivot.