Group Chief Executive Officer, Diriyah Gate Company Limited
Vice Chairman, Forbes Travel Guide
Gerard “Jerry” Inzerillo is a globally celebrated Forbes-cover visionary in the hospitality and tourism industry, with a deep aptitude for positioning strategies and iconic developments. Over the course of his five-decade career in the industry, he has been a champion for the sector and its people, and the creative and logistical mind behind some of the world’s most innovative luxury brand activations and spectacular development launches.
In recognition of his leadership and empathetic outreach to the global tourism community during the COVID-19 pandemic, he was voted the ‘’Corporate Hotelier of the World’’ by Hotels Magazine, considered the most prestigious recognition in Global Hospitality as well as the “Tourism for Peace Award” by the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO), honoring Inzerillo’s unique contributions to world peace by bringing people together through travel and tourism.
In June 2018, Inzerillo was appointed by HRH The Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be the founding CEO of the newly created Diriyah Gate Development Authority, (DGDA), a USD $63 Billion Vision 2030 giga-project aimed at restoring and reimagining the ancestral home of the original Saudi state. In this role, Inzerillo is charged with developing and implementing master plans to turn 74 square kilometers of development area into one of the world’s greatest gathering places and the center of culture and heritage in the Middle East. The Masterplans will encompass world-class cultural, entertainment, retail, hospitality, educational, religious, office and residential assets, with the UNESCO World Heritage site of At-Turaif as its center-point. Phase 1 was successfully opened in 2022 for the Global Summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council – WTTC, as well as the UNWTO 45th Global Tourism Summit in 2023.
At-Turaif was inaugurated by The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in November 2019, followed by hosting the G20 in November 2020 – the first time that the G20 has had its Presidency held by a Middle Eastern country.
When complete, the development will add 27 billion Saudi riyals to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's GDP, attract 27 million visitors and employ more than 55,000 people.
Inzerillo also serves as Vice Chairman of the Forbes Travel Guide. The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award is universally accepted as the Olympic gold medal of Global Hospitality. As CEO of Forbes Travel Guide from 2014 to 2018, Inzerillo successfully spearheaded the globalization of the North American company’s international footprint to more than 100 countries worldwide.
Inzerillo was President and CEO of IMG Artists, the global leader in artist management, performing arts and lifestyle events planning from 2012 to 2014. At IMG Artists, he directed global strategies for music, events, festivals, and government consulting and artist and facility management businesses.
From 1991 to 2011, Inzerillo was president of Kerzner Entertainment Group, where he raised the profile and positioning of its properties in South Africa, the Bahamas, Dubai, Morocco, Mauritius, Mexico, the Maldives, as well as conceptualized and positioned the start-up of its One&Only and Atlantis brands. He oversaw the now-legendary launches of The Lost City at Sun City in South Africa, Atlantis in the Bahamas and Atlantis, Dubai, the latter considered to be the most covered hotel resort, including achieving the front cover of Time magazine.
From 1991 to 1996, Inzerillo served as COO of Sun City, the unique South African resort complex built by Sol Kerzner. While in South Africa, he enjoyed a close personal friendship Nelson Mandela. In 1994, Inzerillo coordinated major portions of Mr Mandela’s Presidential Inauguration in South Africa. In 2023 he was awarded the inaugural ‘’ Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Nelson Mandela Childern Fund for his devotion and dedication to Nelson Mandela and his causes Commemorative the 10th Anniversary of his passing.
In 1987, he was the founding President and CEO of Morgans Hotel Group, later rebranded as Ian Schrager Hotels. While there, he conceptualized and opened Morgans, Royalton and Paramount in New York; the Delano in Miami Beach; and Mondrian in L.A.
Throughout, Inzerillo’s leadership has led to the conceptual success of breakout brands such as Atlantis, One&Only Resorts, Ian Schrager Hotels, Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels.
In his personal life, Inzerillo has long been involved with philanthropy, especially with respect to children, education, and HIV/AIDS. He was honored with a Knighthood by the Knights of Malta in Rome, Italy, in 1996 as well as in 2023 receiving Presidential Medal of Volunteerism and Service from US President Joseph Biden. Inzerillo is also a Founding Advisory Board Member of the Clinton AIDS Foundation.
Inzerillo is the recipient of a host of awards and distinctions including being featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine, ranked 1st in the 2023 Arabian Business 100 Most Inspirational Leaders in the Middle East, Top 50 CEO’s of the Middle East, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Developer of the Year as well as a cameo role in the James Bond film ‘’ Casino Royale’’. In 2023 he was unanimously elected into the Global Travel Hall of Fame.
Jerry Inzerillo is married to former CNN anchor Prudence Solomon. Their daughter, Helena Zakade Inzerillo, was named by her Godfather, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nelson Mandela. Inzerillo resides in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and New York City.
Related: We invite you to watch Jerry Inzerillo's TEDx Talk on hospitality.