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Area divisions go in forte shake-up

01 January 2000
Area divisions go in forte shake-up

By Angela Frewin

Forte has restructured its management team to concentrate on types of hotel rather than geographical areas, in a move that reaches from director level to the regional general managers.

In place of two managing directors concentrating respectively on London operations and UK provincial hotels, chief executive Antoine Cau now oversees four managing directors of each of Forte's four branded chains.

Patrick Dempsey, previously London managing director, takes on Posthouse, while Guy Crawford, former regional managing director for Africa and the Carribean, oversees Heritage. Le Méridien continues to be handled by Bernard Lambert, with extra responsibility for the UK properties, while Paul Schnepper, general manager at the Cumberland hotel, takes on the other six London Signature Hotels as regional director.

The changes will mean the loss of jobs for three or four of the 60-65 regional general managers, but Cau said alternative roles were being sought for them.

  • Granada plans to spend £150m over the next three years developing the Travelodge budget hotel chain. Plans include expanding city centre sites from eight to 25 by 2000, and adding another 2,900 rooms next year.

Marketing director Marc Bell said the move into city centres was driven not by a shortage of roadside sites but predictions that the budget sector would expand by 25% over the year. The UK supply of budget hotels was only 2-3% (against 15% in the USA) and they were under-represented in cities, he added.

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