David Clarke is to step down as chief executive of Best Western GB, after five years in the job.
He headed Best Western in his capacity as chief executive of Interchange & Consort Hotels, which is also the parent company of the purchasing consortium Beacon Purchasing and the hotel management and consultancy company InnFutures.
Clarke hit the headlines last year when he donned a disguise to work as a waiter, chef and housekeeper within several Best Western hotels for the Channel 4 TV series, Undercover Boss. In 2010 he also oversaw a £1m re-branding exercise, involving a television advertising campaig, which emphasised the individuality of Best Western's hotels.
Clarke said that having steered the organisation through some major changes, he is looking to seek new challenges within the hospitality industry.
"I've thoroughly enjoyed the past five years at the helm and we have a strong executive team and board in place to build on our achievements aimed at providing services to the independent hotel sector," he said.
Rhys Roberts, chairman of Interchange & Consort Hotels, said that Clarke's contribution to the company has been significant and essential. "The past five years have seen some of our best achievements resulting in sales that are growing significantly year on year," he added.
Roberts has began his search for a new chief executive and intends to have Clarke's replacement in place by mid-September. Clarke will leave the company in September.
Best Western is the largest group of three- and four-star independently owned and managed hotels in Great Britain with more than 270 properties.
By Janet Harmer
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