City Lodge Hotel Group chief executive to retire

City Lodge Hotel Group Photo: John Woodroof

JOHANNESBURG – Listed City Lodge Hotel Group chief executive Clifford Ross is to step down from his role at the end of June, due to ill health. Ross will be replaced as chief executive by Andrew Widegger, who has been the group’s financial director since 1994. Ross, now 61, has been with the City Lodge Group for more than 30 years, the last 15 years as chief executive during which he oversaw the growth of the group to 61 hotels, operating in six countries on the African continent. 

He joined Hans Enderle, the founder of the City Lodge Hotel Group, in 1987 as the general manager of the group’s original hotel, City Lodge Randburg. Ross was was promoted to operations director in 1991, managing director in 1994 and chief executive of the group in 2003. 
Alastair Dooley, a chartered accountant and the group’s divisional director of finance since 2009 will succeed Widegger as chief financial officer. A new position of chief operating officer has been created in the group, which will be filed by Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, who joined the group as a divisional director of operations in 2015. 
Ross said his journey with City Lodge had been fantastic. “For 31 years I have been extremely fortunate to work for, and to help shape, an organisation that shares my values and that has made a meaningful impact on the tourism and hospitality sector in South Africa. 
“I will miss directing, guiding and interacting with the group of people who run a great business for the benefit of so many, but I am extremely confident that the structures and personnel I have left in place (and) who will take over from me, will continue to innovate, nurture and grow the City Lodge Hotel Group to an exciting and formidable presence in its chosen markets,” he said.