2000 – 2012
As its fifth decade began, Four Seasons continued to grow – in both size and recognition – around the world. The company now welcomed guests to 50 properties, on every continent except Antarctica. More than ever, Four Seasons Private Residences, Residence Clubs and other branded residential offerings were integrated with urban and resort Four Seasons locations. The strength of the brand had become a promise of a quality of life.
In 2004, Four Seasons entered Fortune magazine’s Hall of Fame for being one of the few companies on the list of 100 Best Companies to Work For every year since the list began. Two years later, in 2006, Four Seasons became one of only five companies to earn the magazine’s Great Place to Work® Respect Award.
Less than a decade after its launch, www.fourseasons.com reached $100 million in cumulative online bookings.
Stories of Four Seasons culture often highlight employee initiative in a crisis. This was illustrated profoundly during the tsunami disaster of 2005.
At Four Seasons Resort Maldives, each employee acted intuitively to ensure their guests’ comfort and safety. Some were credited with saving lives. Afterwards, guests responded with an outpouring of gratitude:
“Let me stress that your group’s strength rests on rock ... This rock is firstly made up of the local employees who – while having been selected for doing their job well – have shown in a time of utmost crisis their true value and a level of dedication that no training and no amount of money can ever generate; it is innate and ingrained in them.” – Guest letter in response to staff efforts after the tsunami.
In 2006, Four Seasons was included in the 30th-anniversary issue of the Robb Report, which celebrated “the most exclusive brands of all time.” Amongst a group of 20 celebrated Icons and Innovators Who Define Excellence – including Rolls-Royce and Ferrari, Cartier and Tiffany, Louis Vuitton and Armani, Glenlivet and Château Lafite Rothschild – was the name Four Seasons.
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, the new home of the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada, opened in 2006 in Toronto – the birthplace of Four Seasons. It was one of six new museums and homes for the arts built during the city’s cultural transformation in the mid-2000s.
In 2007, a deal was completed that returned Four Seasons to private ownership in a partnership between Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, one of the major shareholders of Four Seasons. Isadore Sharp and his family retained a significant share and operating involvement in the company Sharp founded.