21c Museum Hotels announces leadership transition

Founding partner Sarah Robbins tapped to lead 21c

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — 21c Museum Hotels, the award-winning, Louisville-based hospitality management company, Monday announced the appointment of founding partner Sarah Robbins to lead the 21c brand effective July 15.

The move follows Craig Greenberg’s decision to step down as president & CEO. A member of the founding team which opened the brand’s flagship property in Louisville in 2006, Greenberg has led the company through its growth to 11 hotels currently open or under development around the country.

Sarah Robbins
Sarah Robbins

Robbins is joined on 21c’s senior leadership team by founding partners Molly Swyers, chief brand officer, and Alice Gray Sites, chief curator and museum director, with oversight by Heather McCrory, CEO, Accor North & Central America. Greenberg has been working closely with Robbins, McCrory and the leadership team to ensure a smooth transition.

“Nineteen years ago, I received my first e-mail from Steve Wilson on his idea that would eventually become 21c Museum Hotels,” said Greenberg. “Every day since, it has been the greatest professional and personal journey to be a part of the birth, growth, and transformation of 21c. At my core, I am an entrepreneur who is passionate about making new, big things happen and I am excited to look ahead to my next entrepreneurial endeavors in the private and public sectors. I know the future is bright for 21c as it continues to grow and evolve over the coming years under Sarah’s and Accor’s strong leadership, as well as the continued creative vision and influence of Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown.”

“On behalf of Accor, we thank Craig for his outstanding leadership, contributions and accomplishments while at the helm of 21c. He has been a tremendous partner to us through Accor’s acquisition of 21c, and has played an integral role in preserving the unique spirit which makes 21c so special, while also embracing new opportunities for growth and development of the brand,” said McCrory. “One of 21c’s greatest strengths is its people. The history, experience, and passion that Sarah, Molly, Alice, and the entire 21c team bring to the brand is truly inspiring. I have full confidence that Sarah and the leadership team are poised to guide 21c into its exciting next chapter.”

As leader for the 21c brand, Robbins will have strategic oversight for 21c’s corporate headquarters, nine properties and new development projects under the 21c brand. Her expanded responsibilities include sales & marketing, brand management and accounting, while she will also continue to lead the group’s operations, food & beverage, and human resources.


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Robbins previously held roles with the group as chief hospitality officer and SVP operations. Prior to joining 21c, she served as project director for Myriad Restaurant Group, providing food & beverage management & operational consulting for clients such as Starwood Hotels, Interstate Hotels, and Sage Hospitality.

“It has truly been a privilege working alongside Craig to grow 21c, and I am honored that Steve and Laura Lee, Heather and the team at Accor have put their trust in me to lead this extraordinary brand,” said Robbins. “I look forward to working alongside Molly and Alice, our immensely talented team, our committed owners and partners, and our global family of guests and clients. We’ve achieved remarkable success over the past few years, and all of us at 21c are excited at the growth and opportunities ahead. We believe strongly in our ability to make an even bigger impact in the lives of the people and communities that we serve.”

“When we founded 21c, we had no way of knowing just how much our brand and concept would mean to everyone who has had the opportunity to visit,” said 21c co-founder Steve Wilson. “We believed in the power of contemporary art and its ability to drive positive change in the communities around us. And now we’ve seen, firsthand, the success and impact 21c has had in more than 9 cities across the country, and it’s truly incredible. None of this would have been possible without the passion, fire and drive of our leadership team, with Craig at its helm. Craig, thank you for everything you’ve done for our brand, our hotels and our people. And Sarah, congratulations on your new responsibilities; I know 21c remains in great hands.”

Robbins will work alongside Swyers, Stites and the other members of the 21c team to forward the brand’s boundary-pushing vision combining multi-venue contemporary art museum, boutique hotels and chef-driven restaurants. The brand continues to grow – most recently opening 21c Museum Hotel Chicago earlier this year, with additional properties slated to open in St. Louis in 2021 and Des Moines in 2022.