Darryl Hartley-Leonard (b. 1946) is the British-born executive who had a 32 year career at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, rising through the ranks to become a leading figure in the business and a widely recognised spokesman for travel and tourism.
Darryl was born in Leeds and received a BA from Blackpool Lancashire College of Lancaster University before moving to the US in 1964 and joining the Los Angeles Hyatt as a desk clerk. Here, under the tutelage of the general manager, Pat Foley, Darryl learnt how to manage employees and the two men struck up a strong working relationship. When Pat was promoted to resident manager at Hyatt’s first big hotel in Atlanta, he took Darryl on as front-office supervisor. When Pat rose to become president of Hyatt in 1978, he installed Darryl as executive vice-president. Darryl also served as president of Regency Systems Solutions, a technology subsidiary of Hyatt.
Continuing his rise to the top, Darryl served as Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Operating Officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation from 1986–1994 and as chairman of the board from 1994–1996. He retired from Hyatt in 1996, becoming chair and Chief Executive Officer of PGI, Inc. from 1998–2005. He has been an Independent Trustee of LaSalle Hotel Properties, a real estate investment trust, since 1998.
Amongst Darryl’s other senior roles, he was Chairman of the US Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, the Travel Business Roundtable, the Travel and Tourism Government Affairs Council, and the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism in 1995.
He was honoured by the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2000.