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Monday, 11 April, 2011, 16 : 00 PM [IST]

Peter J. Leitgeb, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Claridges Hotels & Resorts

An art connoisseur, Peter J Leitgeb believes in maximum efficiency and productivity when it comes to work. A stickler for discipline, Leitgeb loves fast cars and the good life, namely fine dining, wine and cigars. Anish V Punnackattu takes a peek into his personal life
110411_dil_1.jpgA pleasant and affable person who exudes energy and confidence, Leitgeb has run several great hotels in cities across the world like London, Frankfurt, Washington DC, Berlin, Hong Kong, New Delhi etc but nothing excites him more than the opportunity to develop a great luxury hotel in India. “Having experienced the culture and heritage of Europe, I have even more of a passion to experience cultures from around the world,” says Leitgeb”

My Morning
An early riser, Leitgeb's day begins with breakfast with his wife at eight am and he leaves for office immediately thereafter. As he stays in a hotel, Leitgeb counts himself lucky to be able to avoid the daunting task of navigating through Delhi’s peak hour traffic, one of the perks of the job as he likes to call it.  

110411_dil_2.jpgAt Work
Reporting to work at 9:15 am everyday, Leitgeb's first job is checking the reports received on various hotels. “I check revenue per room, total room occupancy and many other aspects. If there's something wrong in a report, then I call the General Managers of the hotel in question and clarify the problem.“ After that, he checks his e-mail. Leitgeb receives anywhere from 50 – 80 e-mails every day and finds replying to them a long and arduous task. His lunch is generally with clients such as Ambassadors of various countries. Post lunch, Leitgeb gets back to checking his e-mails, as according to him, e-mails sent by European and American clients generally arrive in the afternoon.

After Hours

Leitgeb loves fast cars and owns a Porsche and admits he has a special affinity for golf and says, “I'm not a good golfer but I love the game. I play roughly once a week and all the walking involved in the game is good exercise as well.” Leitgeb also has an active social life. His wife is a member of the Japanese Women's Association and through this organisation they provide financial help to several orphanages in India. Leitgeb wants to spend his retired life travelling the world, visiting Germany and Japan, the latter because his wife who hails from the country likes to spend a few months there every year.

Leitgeb was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1951 and has a sister who lives in Austria. He says, “My father, Johann, an Austrian Army officer wanted me to follow in his footsteps, but I had no inclination for the military. Instead, I decided to pursue a career in the hospitality industry.” At the age of eighteen, he began to work in the hotel industry as an apprentice and put in three years in a hotel school at Salzburg. After that he joined Cornell University in America for an eight weeks programme and was the youngest to get a scholarship for the same that year. Once he graduated from Cornell University, Leitgeb worked for several hotel companies in top position across the world. Prior to joining Claridges Hotels & Resorts he was associated with Kempinski Hotels as President of Leela Palaces & Resorts. He has been living in India for the past six and half years. Leitgeb met his wife Miko in Hong Kong. Their son works in a senior management position for a hotel company in Japan, while their daughter works for one of the largest newspapers in Germany.
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