Industry mourns the passing of Jochem-Jan Sleiffer

Industry mourns the passing of Jochem-Jan Sleiffer

Colleagues devastated by the tragic loss of the Hilton president for Middle East, Africa and Turkiye

Revered hotelier and industry leader Jochem-Jan Sleiffer has passed away unexpectedly at the age of 56.

Friends and colleagues have been left devastated by news of the passing of the greatly admired Hilton president for Middle East, Africa and Türkiye. 

Hilton's executive vice president Simon Vincent announced the news today (Friday 28 April), saying: "It is with great shock that I share the incredibly sad news that our much loved colleague and friend Jochem-Jan Sleiffer – affectionately known as JJ – has unexpectedly passed away. Our heartfelt sympathies are with JJ's family who we are supporting in every way we can."

Vincent added: "Anyone who knew JJ will agree that he was a remarkable, larger-than life individual, both in stature and character. He had a big heart and always did everything with a smile. Hospitality came naturally to him, and he truly lived our Hilton values every day of his career."

Before finally moving to Dubai in 2020, JJ’s Hilton journey began more than three decades ago, when he joined Hilton Amsterdam as a chief steward in 1990, going on to hold multiple positions, including as general manager in the UK, France, Greece and Belgium. 

In a recent interview with Connecting Travel, JJ said: "The most memorable day of my career was in 1992 at the Hilton Brussels when I met my wife for the first time." 

When asked what he would like to be remembered for, JJ said: "I would like to be remembered for championing a career in hospitality. Hospitality is a business of people serving people."

Vincent described JJ as "a true hotelier at heart" when paying tribute to his legacy. Moving forward, as a mark of respect, all planned Hilton events in the region have been postponed or cancelled, including the ATM party due to be held at Hilton Palm Jumeirah on Wednesday 3 May.

Vincent concluded: "JJ had a profound impact on our organisation and his extraordinary career and contributions left an incredible mark on the lives of so many people around the world. We will all miss him greatly. He was an inspiration to all of us, and his legacy will continue to live on in the work that we do every day."

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