Au joined the Genting group 38 years ago and served in various positions in Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, Miami and Germany. He was the founding president and ceo of Genting Hong Kong in 1993, and instrumental in developing cruising in Asia.
Genting HK chairman and ceo Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay said Au's appointment comes at the 'quantum leap in size of the company.' Au, he added, will focus his attention on Genting Cruise Lines, the German shipyard group MV Werften and other company assets.
Genting Cruise Lines is a new division of Genting Hong Kong and includes Star Cruises, Dream Cruises and Crystal Cruises.
The company will leverage on the 50-year-old Genting name, which is well recognized in China and other parts of Asia, and recently strengthened by the international exposure of Genting Resorts Secret Garden in Chongli, Hebei Province near Beijing, the main venue for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Au said he looks forward to providing leadership during this time of rapid growth and to overseeing MV Werften, which will give Genting HK the competitive edge in building large ships without relying on the limited number of European shipyards with orders stretching out a decade. The first 200,000gt Global-class ships are due by 2020.
Kent Zhu brings more than 30 years of international hospitality experience with two global Asian luxury hotel groups, Shangri-La International Management and Wanda Hotels and Resorts. Each has about a hundred properties and more than 30,000 hotel rooms.
Zhu will be leaving his evp position with Wanda Hotels & Resorts to join the Genting as the president of Genting Cruise Lines, based in Hong Kong. He had 18 years with Shangri-La, ultimately serving as chief marketing officer, based in the company's Hong Kong headquarters.
'With his experience in China, Kent will immediately focus on developing a nationwide distribution network in China with strong travel partners to fill our cruise ships in Asia and elsewhere,' said Hui Lim, executive director, Genting Group.
Zhu said he aims to strengthen the relationship with Genting's industry partners, develop a clear distribution strategy and infrastructure and align the brand standards to the changing trends of the company's customer profile to deliver a memorable customer experience.