André Balazs, founder of the Mercer and Standard hotels, stepped down as chair of the Standard hotels brand.
The hotelier left the board of Standard International, the company that controls five Standard hotels, including the Standard High Line. The hotelier will retain a 20 percent stake in the company as well as a stake in some individual hotels, the Financial Times reported.
Balazs, who launched the Standard brand 18 years ago, described the move as a “friendly parting of ways,” according to the newspaper. The company is in the midst of developing a 270-room hotel in London, and the hotelier told the paper he was “no longer involved with the design or any other aspect of the development of the London Standard.”
Balazs said he’d have more time to work on new projects, namely ultra-luxury hotels.
“The lack of uniqueness in the luxury sector is lamentable,” he told the publication. “I think we changed the affordable category. I think the luxury market is crying for exactly that.”
Balazs spun off the Standard brand from Andre Balazs Properties in 2013. He sold an 80 percent stake of Standard International, the business that runs his hotels, to private investors for an undisclosed price.