Founder of Soho House Private Members Club resigns | Hospitality industry


Nick Jones, the founder of Soho House, is stepping down as managing director of the private club and hotel empire he founded 27 years ago after revealing a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Jones announced on Wednesday that he was “moving from CEO to my initial role as founder.” The 59-year-old has transformed Soho House from a one-off private club in central London into a global network of 38 ‘homes’, spas, co-working spaces and luxury hotels.

The businessman said he was stepping back from the day-to-day running of the business after cancer treatment ‘changed my perspective and focus’. He is replaced as CEO by Andrew Carnie, the company’s global president.

“Bad news first, and very good news,” Jones said in an email to members on Wednesday. “At the beginning of the summer, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was caught early and my treatment was 100% successful – and I am not only healthy again, but also cancer free.

“Inevitably, this experience changed my perspective and focus. Accordingly, starting today, I am transitioning from CEO to my initial role as Founder and will focus on the creative and membership aspects of Soho House.

Jones, who is married to BBC presenter Kirsty Young, said he wanted to do “more of what I love”, which he said ensured the members had a good time. He would also focus more on the company’s House Foundations programs to help underrepresented groups thrive in the creative industries.

He sought to reassure the more than 210,000 members across the world that clubs and business would be in “good hands” with Carnie, who joined the business in 2019.

Last week, a Soho House spokesperson denied The Guardian claims from two company insiders who said Jones was set to quit.

When Soho House started above Jones’ restaurant, Cafe Boheme, on the corner of Greek Street in 1995, only people working in the creative industries were allowed in – bankers and those dressed in suits and ties, though. that they were not barred from applying, often had their membership revoked.

This approach returned to Jones in 2015, when he tried to raise funds from bankers by inviting them to an investment bond presentation at his venue Shoreditch House near the City of London.

“It’s pretty funny,” one potential investor told Reuters at the time. “They say we’re not cool enough to join their club but they’re perfectly willing to take our money when they need it.” Another said Soho House’s message was simply, “We don’t want you; we want your money!

Now the company, which was quickly renamed Membership Collective Group (MCG) as part of its more than £2bn IPO on the New York Stock Exchange last year, operates hotels, spas and coworking spaces as well as private clubs. across five continents.

Over the years it has been the go-to party spot for the rich and famous, from Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner and Ellie Goulding to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Reports in the tabloids suggest that Harry, the fifth in line for the throne, and Meghan, the former Suits actor, met on a blind date in 2016 at the group’s home at 76 Dean Street , one of eight Soho houses in London which includes a townhouse in Mayfair, and a rooftop club, hotel and swimming pool in the former BBC studios in White City.

“For the past 27 years I have led Soho House and more recently MCG always putting members at the heart of everything we do,” Jones said. “I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved and grateful to all the teams that have helped us get to where we are today.”

Jones owns just under 6% of the shares, alongside US property billionaire Ron Burkle, who owns 42.5%, and British millionaire restaurateur Richard Caring, who owns 20%.

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