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10 Things You Didn't Know about Hilton CEO Christopher J. Nassetta

In this microwave generation when people expect results in minutes, few people appreciate that hard work pays and sometimes you have to start at the bottom to get to the top. Hilton CEO Christopher J. Nassetta is among the few but besides that; there are other facts you do not know about him.

1. He is a board member of 7 organizations

Christopher has served under various positions in different industries such as real estate and finance which exposed him to an array of skills. The accumulated experience has led him to be a board member to several organizations including the Real Estate Roundtable, World Travel & Tourism Council, Arlington Free Clinic, Partners For A New Beginning, the International Youth Foundation, the Economic Club of Washington D.C. and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

2. His net worth is about $13.6 million

By the end of October 2018, Christopher had an estimated net worth of at least $13.6 million. The amount can be attributed to the fact that he is among the highest paid CEOs in the hotel industry; in 2017, he was ranked number 4 with total compensation of $18,790, 698. Besides his salary for being the President, CEO, and Director of Hilton Worldwide, he holds 571 units of Hilton Worldwide stock which are worth more than $2.3 million

3. As a kid, Nassetta never received an allowance

As unbelievable as it may sound in the current era where children believe they are entitled to an allowance for doing chores which they should be doing in the first place, Christopher did not have the advantage of getting one. His father believed in raising independent kids and being entrepreneurial; therefore Nassetta started with a newspaper delivery route which he expanded to have the kids deliver newspapers under his supervision. His entrepreneurial abilities began at an early age because he also increased his earnings by running a snow plowing and lawn mowing business.

4. Christopher was raised 10 minutes from the current Hilton headquarters

Maybe it was fate beckoning him to start moving in the Hilton direction because Christopher grew up 10 minutes from the Hilton headquarters. He still lives in the same location because his parents never moved from their house and the entire family has formed a small community around the parent's house. Nassetta lives a mile down from the house while his sisters are his neighbors on both sides of the house. Christopher believes in culture and tradition, and perhaps that is the reason his children attend the same high, junior high and elementary school that he attended.

5. Christopher got rid of traditional room service in the big city hotels

Christopher revolutionized how the Hilton operates and made it adapt to the changing needs of customers. He insists that all their hotels have to appeal to the millennials, unlike some hotels like Marriott International that launched new brands to target the younger generation specifically. Some of the changes that Christopher led included eliminating bellmen and night turndown services saying even at home he does not have the service. However, the most notable change that Christopher made was getting rid of traditional room service which not only reduced the labor costs but also ensures that customers get better prices and services.

6. His first job as a teenager entailed unclogging toilets

Nassetta has worked his way up to be who he is today, and as a teenager, he got an entry-level position in the engineering department of the Holiday Inn Capitol Hill. His main job involved unclogging toilets and anything else that other people did not want to do. According to him, the task was an eye-opener as to what happens behind the walls of hotels. He explains that he believes the best method of starting a business is from the ground and work your way up because it enables one to understand the human resources aspect of the operations.

7. Nassetta always stops at Starbucks for breakfast

Although Christopher travels internationally almost 75% of the time, whenever he is at home, his first stop upon getting ready for work is at Starbucks. Being an early riser, he wakes up at 4:30 am or 5 am-, Nasseta arrives at Starbucks so early that he is the first customer to get there and sometimes he even has to wait for the coffeehouse to open. What is evident is that Nassetta needs his dose of caffeine to get to work.

8. Nassetta never sleeps without clearing his inbox

Nassetta knows that even if he does not respond to the emails, the world will continue, but to him, it is essential because he acknowledges that people need feedback and the sooner he can give it to them the sooner they can accomplish whatever they are doing. He, therefore, ensures that every day before going to bed, he has responded to all emails and texts. While emails are from the company staff, the texts are mostly from his family, but he still takes the responsibility of giving feedback regardless of who the person is.

9. Nassetta looks for three things when hiring

We get a bunch of interview questions whenever we are looking for employment, but if you want to work for Nassetta, all he wants to know is if you are an excellent communicator because poor communication means inability to motivate and persuade clients. He also is interested in what drives you and makes you tick but most of all he cannot stand a big ego because, in an organization like his, big egos are hindrances to the accomplishment of goals.

10. He believes in taking time off work to recharge

In 2016, Hilton Worldwide launched Go Hilton Team Member travel program to encourage the team members and their families to travel and de-stress. Nassetta, therefore, posted a picture on Facebook and said he was taking time off to be with his family which to him is among the most important things. He even disclosed that he would take a long weekend getaway to the Chesapeake Bay when the weather was favorable.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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