What’s On My Desk: Doug Housley of the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco


Ever wonder what the most powerful leaders, business execs and celebrities keep on their desks? Well, we’re about to tell you. Our biweekly “What’s on My Desk” feature will take a look inside the offices and at the desks of the world’s most influential power players.

This week we feature Doug Housley, General Manager, Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco. As General Manager, Housley is responsible for overseeing all internal hotel operations, managing all aspects of the 277 room hotel and the 142 Four Seasons branded condominium units in the building which houses Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco. His job functions include coordinating and managing daily hotel operations, conducting operations meetings, monitoring service standards in all departments, and overseeing management training functions for management and line staff. He also sits on the Center Association board, which governs the retail, hotel, and residential components of the mixed use building.

Housley has been General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco since 2006. He was previously General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence (the first Four Seasons Hotel and Resort in the Middle East). Housley has worked with the Four Seasons brand since 1979, and has worked around the world at properties including: Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, Four Seasons Hotel Calgary, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, Four Seasons Olympic Hotel Seattle, and Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel).

Housley has an extensive background in food and beverage management. He has held positions as Director of Catering, Food and Beverage Director, and Hotel Manager prior to his current General Manager role.

Here is an insider’s view of what this well-traveled GM keeps near by to get it all done:

1. My Calculator/sales reports – In the hospitality world we need to keep a close eye on sales data and trends. Both these daily reports and my trusty calculator help me stay on top of what is happening in this property, from room night forecasts to how many Duck Fat Burgers we sold over the weekend.

2. Brick from Contemporary Jewish Museum – The Contemporary Jewish Museum opened in 2005 just behind the Four Seasons. It’s one of the many important cultural institutions in San Francisco, and a wonderful neighbor.

3. Glass Globe – Our hotel is on Market Street in San Francisco, but our guests are global. This reminds me to think of the big picture when we are planning, as well as all the wonderful places I’ve visited and worked as a part of the Four Seasons brand.

4. Notes – both for our hotel guests and for myself. I take notes on legal pads during meetings. I also hand write welcome notes to our guests, which are presented upon check in. This batch are cartoons from the New Yorker.

5. Reading (for business and pleasure) – I always like to keep some recent reads in the office. Currently on my desk are: Rebooting Work: Transform How You Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship by Maynard Webb and Carlye Adler and The Asylum: A Collage of Couture Reminisces…and Hysteria by Simon Doonan

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