Sebastián Escarrer, WG'93
Vice Chairman
Sol Melia SA
Palma de Mallorca

Wharton Speaker >> Biography

Sebastian Escarrer is Chairman of the Forum and has held the position of Chairman of Wharton’s EMEA Board since March 2009. Mr. Escarrer is Vice Chairman of Sol Meliá, the world’s leading holiday hotel chain, the overall market leader in Spain and among the largest hotel groups globally with more than 300 properties in 26 countries.  Sol Meliá was founded by Gabriel Escarrer Juliá, Mr. Escarrer’s father, in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

After graduating from ICADE, Mr. Escarrer held several positions in multinational companies including the Coca-Cola Corporation (Boston), the First Boston Corporation (New York and London), IBM Corporation (New York), Hyatt International (London) and the Mac Gemini Group (Madrid).  In 1993 he obtained an MBA from The Wharton School of Business with three majors: Business Strategy, Finance and Multinational Management.  Mr. Escarrer joined Sol Meliá in 1993 as Deputy Vice Chairman, became Chief Executive Officer in 1994 and Vice Chairman in 1997.   He held these positions until April 2009 when he relinquished the position of CEO in anticipation of succeeding his father as Chairman.

Mr. Escarrer’s achievements and reputation have earned him several awards in the travel and finance industries, including his selection in 1997 as one of the 100 leading businessmen for the 21st Century by the World Economic Forum as well as several other recognitions in Europe and Latin America for his expertise in financial and hotel management strategy. As an influential figure in the global travel industry, Sebastián Escarrer is Chairman of Exceltur, the Spanish travel industry lobbying group representing the 30 largest companies in the Spanish travel industry, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

He is a member of the International Advisory Board of Eurohypo, a leading European mortgage bank, a member of the Advisory Board of the Premium Brands Fund of the Swiss Bank Pictet and a member of the Spanish Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce.  As Chairman for the Progress in Management Association in the Balearic Islands and Vice Chairman for the Mediterranean region for the same organisation, Mr. Escarrer is also very involved in the dissemination of values and best practices to Spanish business leaders.

Mr. Escarrer is highly committed to Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability and has engaged Sol Meliá as an active member of a number of Foundations committed to these principles including, the “Seres Foundation”, “Empresa y Crecimiento Foundation” and most recently, “Principe de Girona Foundation” which promote Community Involvement, Social and Childhood Development as well as the “Entorno Foundation”, which is focused on Environmental Sustainability. Mr. Escarrer’s background and achievements, together with other activities and memberships involving Progress in Leadership and Management and Corporate Responsibility, earned him the honour of being named the Spanish business leader that generates the greatest confidence by the Barometer of Corporate Confidence survey for 2009.