Merlin Entertainments hires first chief experience and people officer

Merlin EntertainmentsMerlin Entertainments, which owns 140 global attractions, theme parks, hotels, and resorts spanning 24 countries and four continents, has appointed Spencer Holt as its first chief experience and people officer.

In this newly created role, Holt will be responsible for both the guest experience and the employee journey of Merlin’s 30,000-strong workforce. He will join the executive team from August.

Holt has more than 20 years of experience working in global businesses across the pharmaceutical, finance, franchising, and sales industries. He spent 18 years at AstraZeneca, leading people and culture for its 70,000 employees across 62 countries in roles across enterprise people development, global academies, and commercial innovation.

He also co-founded and is the current chief learning officer at the Global Leader Group, which is a business and people consultancy group focused on helping organisations achieve excellence.

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Holt said: “Unlocking the superpowers of each employee, attracting the best talent, and increasing the joy and memory making of each guest will be at the heart of this opportunity. I look forward to building on what has worked in the past and explore what we need to do in the future to help Merlin reach its bold ambition. Ultimately, my role is to help create the best place in the world to work.”

Scott O’Neil, chief executive officer at Merlin Entertainments, added: “As Merlin Entertainments continues its growth trajectory to make more memories, bring more happiness and spread more joy to more people in more places than anyone else in the world, we are increasingly committed to adding resources to the most critical parts of our business: our guest experience, our distinct culture and our 30,000 amazing teammates around the world. Spencer Holt is the right person to lead us there and I am thrilled he has agreed to join the Merlin family.”