Highgate, a real estate investment and hospitality management company, announced the appointment of industry pioneer Arash Azarbarzin to CEO. The hire signifies Highgate’s focus on team building and expanding its luxury and lifestyle capabilities.
As CEO, Azarbarzin will collaborate with Highgate’s co-founders and principals to build upon the company’s entrepreneurial culture with an emphasis on cultivating and retaining talent while simultaneously expanding relationships with industry partners. This includes a heightened focus on Highgate’s environmental, social, and corporate governance strategy based on Azarbarzin’s expertise in sustainable, modern luxury. In this new role, Azarbarzin will also lead the development of specialized food and beverage and marketing divisions.
“We are thrilled to welcome Arash as Highgate embarks on this next chapter of growth and market leadership,” said Mahmood Khimji, co-founder and co-chairman of Highgate’s Board of Directors. “Arash brings a perspective that is timely for the future of our portfolio and embodies the work ethic and creativity found at the core of Highgate’s DNA. With his proven track record of mentorship and building successful hospitality destinations, he is a brilliant addition to this organization.”
During a transformational year in which Highgate increased its portfolio by more than 25,000 rooms throughout the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America, coupled with a pipeline of key openings and acquisitions, Azarbarzin is poised to lead the company to new heights with global expansion.
Azarbarzin brings to Highgate more than 30 years of hotel leadership experience with luxury brands including Four Seasons, St. Regis Hotels, SLS Hotels, and W Hotels. Most recently, as CEO for SH Hotels & Resorts, his strategic and operational vision fueled the growth and performance of the SH portfolio, comprised of the 1 Hotels, Baccarat Hotels, and Treehouse Hotels brands. Azarbarzin has established a reputation as a proponent of sustainability in the luxury lifestyle sector.
“It is a great honor to join Highgate and build upon the legacy established by the Khimji family,” said Azarbarzin. “I look forward to bringing a new point of view to the already advantageous hospitality powerhouse.”
Azarbarzin holds a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from United States International University and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. In 2020, he joined the Board of Directors of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the AMAALA Development Advisory Board.