Regional Vice-President and General Manager
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 1982
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Director of Purchasing, Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
- Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills; Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach; Four Seasons Hotel Milano; Regent Hotel London (formerly a Four Seasons Hotel); Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Chinzan-so; Four Seasons Hotel Olympic, Seattle (now the Fairmont Olympic Hotel); Four Seasons Hotel Toronto; Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco; Fairmont Hotel San Francisco; The Connaught Hotel, London
- Liverpool, England
- Honours degree, Hotel & Catering Administration, University of Surrey; Certified diploma, Accounting and Finance, Polytechnic of Central London
- English and French
William Mackay’s first job in the hotel industry was as enlightening as they come. Hired as a kitchen apprentice at The Connaught Hotel, London, he witnessed first-hand the sense of elation that comes when a united team of professionals go all out to achieve perfection. “It was also where I learned that the price of perfection is often a very high level of emotional engagement that is far from easy to manage,” adds the regional vice-president and general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong.
Mackay soon realised that leadership of people and building a winning team was both his forte and his passion. He firmly believes that “sincere service can’t be faked and can only be delivered by motivated employees who enjoy and are completely engaged in what they do.” Following more than 30 years in the industry, he maintains that he has felt no greater sense of accomplishment than “the fusion of wildly diverse characters into the trusting, cohesive and mutually accountable team that we have in Hong Kong.”
Mackay describes his decision to join Four Seasons – in 1982 in San Francisco – as the most pivotal moment of his career: “I quickly realised that I had found the Holy Grail – a company that not only said it believed in people as its most important asset but also truly practised what it preached.”
Hong Kong is his ninth posting with the company and was his fourth opening experience. In addition to the prerequisite management skills, he believes that social aptitude, an inquiring mind and a lively sense of humour are essential for the successful running of a world-class property.
Although a keen squash player and avid reader, Mackay readily admits that he is a monomaniac, shamelessly married to his work. He also makes no apology for being a “detail freak.” “Those of us working in this business are so fortunate to do such a multifaceted job that boredom is simply impossible,” he explains. “If I didn’t enjoy it so much, it would have killed me years ago.”