EHL Executive Committee
Prof. Michel Rochat
Chief Executive Officer
Before becoming CEO of the EHL Group, Michel Rochat was the General Director of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, a position which he had occupied since 2010. From 2003 on, he was also a member of EHL's Board of Governors. He is moreover a member of the Board of Directors of EHL Advisory Services, formerly Lausanne Hospitality Consulting (LHC), Leysin American School, Council of Tourism (Switzerland Tourism), the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality (SSTH), of the Executive Committee of Entreprendre, and of Rotary Club of Western Lausanne.
In 2014, he was awarded the Hospitality Innovation Award and recognized by Bilanz magazine as one of the top 100 personalities of Switzerland. In 2008, he took on the role of General Director of Higher Education for the Vaud canton in the Department of Training, Youth and Culture (DFJC). In 2003, he was appointed Director of Haute Ecole Vaudoise (HEV) and member of the Executive Committee of the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO).
The Council of State of Vaud canton gave him the title of Professor in 1998, and in the same year he was appointed Vice-Director of the Ecole d'ingénieurs du Canton de Vaud (EIVD - Engineering School of the Vaud canton) and Director of the LQF (Logistics - Quality - Training Systems) institute at the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland. In 1988, he became Dean of Esig+, the Swiss school of graphics and package engineering. At the same time, he set up and ran Gresco SA, a consulting firm for local authorities in Switzerland and France. He began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he handled major audit and evaluation projects. He then went on to teach at the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce (business school) in Lausanne.
Michel Rochat is a graduate of HEC Lausanne and the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne.
Chief Operating Officer & Deputy CEO
After having completed his undergraduate degree in agricultural science in Paris, Maxime Medina obtained a post-graduate Business Analyst diploma in Geneva in information sciences. He further took executive courses in economics and management, in Europe, the Middle East and the United States.
Maxime Medina began his career as an IT engineer in the world of finance and private banking. Entrepreneur by nature, he set up his own business and marketed an innovative and pioneering development tool from the Israel technological universities throughout Switzerland. He then created a second company in the e-business sector.
For many years, he managed large-scale international projects, thereby gaining a great deal of practical experience in a wide variety of fields such as industrial production in the luxury industry, distribution, international NGOs, private banking, sport, energy, pharma, publishing, biotech and the public sector. He managed over 200 projects as both CEO and CTO, and was regularly called in by many companies to carry out technological and business assessments. He then drew on his experience for six years, providing active support for start-ups and launching new business activities in hi-tech companies.
During this varied period, he was consulted by large firms such as the Safra group, Nestlé, Ringier, the United Nation Organization, Groupe E, the Swatch Group, Victorinox, Novartis, and cantonal authorities of Western Switzerland.
Meeting with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne management in 2008 as a consultant, he designed and aligned all of EHL’s educational programs on the EU Bologna standards. After its completion, the institution offered him a senior position to manage cross-disciplinary projects, with the aim of introducing a new culture on how to process and manage projects at EHL. His wide experience in this field led him to establish the Project Management Office (known as the PMO), which supervises the school’s entire strategic project portfolio. At the start of 2012, he joined the Executive Committee of EHL in his capacity of Secretary General, mainly responsible for implementing the school’s overall strategy. In 2017 Mr Medina was named Chief Asset Management Officer and led the new campus development project in Lausanne. Mr Medina was named Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO in 2019.
Chief Digital Officer
Swiss and British national, Julia Aymonier, upon graduating from Glasgow University and the Polytechnical University in Wales with a Bsc (Hons) in Computer Science, specialized in IT for the banking, finance and trading industries working for companies such as JP Morgan (Suisse) SA, La Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild SA, Banque Bordier et Cie and Union Bancaire Privée, amongst others.
Her career has led to her working in various countries in Europe but also in the USA. After more than 25 years in these industries, Julia Aymonier chose to change direction and bring her wealth of experience in IT to the Hospice Général, responsible for social welfare and immigration in the canton of Geneva:
“I wanted to use my experience to help the Hospice Général help others.”
Joining Ecole hotelière de Lausanne in June 2015, she became member of the Executive Committee and was named CIO in February 2016. In 2019 Mrs Aymonier took on the role of Chief Digital Officer for EHL Group
Chief Culture & Marketing Officer
Pascal Gauthier joined Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in 2013 as Director of Human Resources and has held the position of Chief Human Resources Officer for EHL Group since January 2016. Mr Gauthier was named Chief Culture and Marketing Officer in May 2019. In this new position, Mr Gauthier plays a crucial role in driving EHL brand strategy for the group and its entities as well as in the development strategy of the company by structuring the workforce, implementing modern Human Resources techniques, fostering internal communication to enable EHL to reinforce its position as an employer of reference on the national and international academic market, and creating and implementing synergies transversally between units to support growth and potential international development.
Before joining EHL, Mr Gauthier held until January 2013, the position of Corporate Vice President of Learning and Development for Hyatt Hotels Corporation – International Operations. He started his career with Hyatt in 1987 and was based at property level for 13 years, holding various training and human resources functions, including area roles, in countries such as Switzerland, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, French Polynesia or Spain. Since January 2000, he had moved to a divisional role as Director of Human Resources for Hyatt International (Europe Africa Middle East) LLC before taking, on a corporate level, the lead of the Learning & Development Division in 2010.
Mr Gauthier is passionate and has strong relational and tutoring skills; he loves communication, contacts and is a strong team player.
Dr Barry O'Mahony
Chief Academic Officer
Professor Barry O’Mahony began his career as an apprentice chef in Ireland and subsequently held senior positions in international hotel chains including Trust House Forte, Parkroyal and ITT Sheraton. He transitioned to education as an advanced skills teacher in culinary arts in Sydney, Australia and later completed a Bachelor of Business in Catering and Hotel Management, a Masters of Education and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Melbourne.
He has taught undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses in Australia, Ireland, Hong Kong, the United States and the Middle East. His Academic leadership experience includes Dean of the Faculty of Business at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, Chair and Head of the Department of Marketing, Tourism and Social Impact at Swinburne University, Melbourne and Director of the Centre for Hospitality and Tourism, Research at Victoria University.
Professor O’Mahony’s ongoing research interests include marketing, hospitality and tourism and he has published over 100 scholarly manuscripts, editorials and articles in knowledge exchange journals. He has received several awards and distinctions for his work including best paper awards and citations for excellence in teaching and learning and for industry engagement.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr Tony Morales joined the EHL Executive Committee in August 2018 as Chief Financial Officer, bringing to EHL an extensive international business experience across multiple industry sectors, including hospitality.
Prior to joining EHL, Mr. Morales spent 10 years at KPMG in Switzerland, where he worked in audit and advisory services. In his tenure there, he managed teams supporting clients in various industries and in the public sector. He also managed the Neuchâtel office.
Thereafter, Mr. Morales spent sixteen years, from 2000 to 2016, at Hyatt Hotels Corporation (HHC) in various Finance leadership roles, most recently he headed the Finance function of HHC Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia business unit. He oversaw finance teams in three regional offices in Zurich, Dubai and Delhi, and in 70 hotels located in 28 countries.
Immediately prior to moving to EHL, Mr. Morales was the Global Chief Financial Officer for Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours where he managed the finance function with teams in Australia, Switzerland, Malta, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Mr. Morales earned a Swiss Certified Accountant Diploma from EXPERTsuisse in Zurich. He also holds a Master of Science in Economics, Political Economy, from the University of Neuchâtel.
Dr Juan Perellon
Chief Risk & Compliance Officer
Born in Barcelona, Spain, Dr. Juan F. Perellon holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Political Science from the University of Lausanne, and a PhD from the Institute of Education, University of London.
Higher education policy is Dr. Perellon’s domain of expertise. Areas of specialization include all aspects of Higher Education and Research, as well as the development of quality assurance and accreditation systems. After gaining his PhD, Dr. Perellon served as the head of the Higher Education Department at the Lausanne Federal Institute of Technology.
In 2005, Dr. Perellon joined the Board of Higher Education of the State of Vaud. As a direct policy advisor to the Minister of Education, he developed an evidenced-based approach to higher education that was critical to the formulation of new State legislation. He was promoted to Director of University Affairs in 2008, where he led the development and implementation of strategic plans for the University of Lausanne and the Teacher Training University of Lausanne. In 2012, Dr. Perellon became Deputy Director General of the Board of Higher Education for the Canton de Vaud.
Dr. Perellon joined EHL in 2013 and currently serves as the Chief Risk & Compliance Officer for the EHL Group, where he leads EHL's accreditation strategy and oversees the risk management system for the institution. He has been instrumental in EHL’s recent reaccreditation process and in negotiations for the Association Agreement with the University of Applied Sciences, Western Switzerland. He also was key in forming EHL’s strategic orientation for Corporate Social Responsibility, which emphasizes skills development for underprivileged Cambodian youth through the Ecole d’hôtellerie et de Tourisme Paul Dubrule in Siem Reap. Dr. Perellon is fluent in French, Spanish, English and Italian, and has strong knowledge of German. He lives in Lausanne and enjoys reading of all kinds, football, tennis and golf, as well as gourmet cooking.
Chief Business Development Officer (EHL Group)
Senior Managing Director
(EHL Advisory Services)
Olivier Roux began his professional career with IBM Switzerland where he took on sales responsibilities before accepting several leadership positions initially in Zurich, Switzerland, and then moving to the global headquarters in New York to lead the global insurance strategy and marketing for three years.
In 2000, Olivier Roux joined Accenture to lead the business development and sales & marketing for the Financial Services sector. Primary achievements include contributing to the business strategy that led to repeated double digits of annual growth. He was appointed partner in 2006, and in 2007, Mr. Roux expanded his responsibilities to lead a global team of 500 professionals across 42 mature and 10 developing countries, including a marketing shared service function based in Delhi, Manila and South Africa.
In September 2014, Mr. Roux and his family relocated to Lausanne, Switzerland, where he accepted a position as Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for EHL Group. As a member of the Executive Committee he oversees Business Development, Marketing, Communications, Admissions and Alumni and Industry Relations for the Group.
From September 2018, he took on the role of Senior Managing Director of EHL Group’s consulting branch, in addition to his mandate as Chief Business Development Officer of EHL Group. Within these extended responsibilities, Mr Roux oversees the continued development of EHL Advisory Services activities with offices in Lausanne, Delhi, Shanghai and Beijing, and operations in over 30 countries worldwide.
He studied Business and Economics at the University of Lausanne (HEC), where he obtained a Master of Business and Economics in 1985. He is fluent in English, French and German.
Chief Innovation Officer
A graduate of Reims Management School and the London Polytechnic, Rémi Walbaum soon turned to entrepreneurship. He created his first company, Axe Communication, in 1989 in order to be part of the big communication and media changes that were happening at the time. With Axe Communication, Mr Walbaum created the first interactive booths for the Olympic Museum, organized the content of Swisscom’s interactive TV platform, and created the first e-commerce sites of Nestlé and Coca-Cola.
During that same period, Rémi Walbaum helped to set up the leshop.ch website in 1998, playing an important role in designing the website structure and then in developing the business.
From 2002 to 2004 Mr Walbaum was Managing Director of Create Switzerland, an association that aimed to help young people set up a business. So it was quite natural that in 2004 he should join Venturelab, where he coached young entrepreneurs.
He also joined Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in 2005 as Professor of Entrepreneurship for students in the Master program. During the same period, he created the Fleur de Pains bakery chain in 2005, which he developed into a network of 10 outlets in the Lausanne area, and joined HEC Lausanne as Professor of Entrepreneurship and SME Management.
In November 2010, Mr Walbaum gave up teaching at EHL in order to become Operations and Administration Director, then Campus Development Director from March 2012, and Chief Innovation Officer since 2016. One activity at a time is not enough for this hyperactive man. Thus, since May 2012, he has also been President of CGN Holding and CGN SA, as well as President of Innovaud (a cantonal initiative to promote the innovation of regional companies) since February 2013.
He owes these posts to the excellent relations that EHL has with the State Councillor for Mobility of the Vaud canton. He actively participates in regional economics, either within ERL or as an administrator of local small businesses.