Adam Stewart has been named chairman of Sandals Resorts International following the death of his father, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.

The move, as part of long-term succession plans, extends the “formidable leadership” of the Caribbean all-inclusive resort brands Adam Stewart has overseen since he was appointed chief executive in 2007.

The company Butch Stewart built from a single property in Montego Bay in Jamaica in 1981 to more than 24 today remains wholly owned by the Stewart family.

His death in the US at the age of 79 was announced on Tuesday leading to many industry tributes.

Adam Stewart said: “Our father was a singular personality; an unstoppable force who delighted in defying the odds by exceeding expectations and whose passion for his family was matched only by the people and possibility of the Caribbean, for whom he was a fierce champion.

“Nothing, except maybe a great fishing day, could come before family to my dad.  And while the world understood him to be a phenomenal businessman – which he was, his first and most important devotion was always to us.  We will miss him terribly forever.”

Butch Stewart is survived by his wife, Cheryl, children Brian, Bobby, Adam, Jaime, Sabrina, Gordon, and Kelly; grandchildren Aston, Sloane, Camden, Penelope-Sky, Isla, Finley, Max, Ben, Zak, Sophie, Annie and Emma; and great grandchildren Jackson, Riley, Emmy and Willow.

A private funeral service will be held.

Those wishing to share memories, condolences or personal stories may do so at AllThatsGood@sandals.com, according to the company.