Richard Solomons, group chief executive officer of hotel giant IHG, is to retire.
He will step down as CEO on 30 June and retire from IHG on 30 August.
Solomons will be succeeded by Keith Barr, a member of IHG’s executive committee who has worked for IHG for 17 years, most recently as chief commercial officer (CCO).
Barr will take up his new position and become a member of IHG’s board on 1 July 2017.
Solomons joined the group 25 years ago and has been on the IHG Board for 14 years, including the last six as CEO. He has led IHG’s strategy and played an integral role in IHG’s successes since its demerger from Six Continents in 2003.
Barr has held senior leadership positions in IHG’s Americas, Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) and Greater China regions, including four years as CEO of IHG’s Greater China business. He was appointed chief commercial officer in May 2013, and has held global responsibility for IHG’s sales, marketing and loyalty functions.
Patrick Cescau, chairman of IHG, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Richard, and on behalf of the board and our colleagues I want to thank him for his successful leadership of IHG. Richard has been an outstanding CEO and a driving force behind IHG becoming the leading global organisation it is today. He has created exceptional shareholder value and as CFO successfully steered the group through the financial crisis. He has executed our winning strategy with a sharp focus on developing our brands, guest experience and loyalty proposition, as well as the digital transformation of the business. Although we are sorry to see him go, we respect and understand his decision to retire and wish him all the very best for the future.”
Solomons said: “It has been a privilege to have spent the last 25 years working in such a dynamic business and alongside an outstanding executive team, talented colleagues across the business and our dedicated hotel owners. I am proud of the success we have achieved since IHG became a standalone business in 2003, not least completing our transition to becoming an asset-light business, launching a series of innovative new hotel brands and new concepts for our heritage brands, acquiring Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and creating value for shareholders. Keith has been an outstanding leader in the business and is clearly the right person to lead IHG to continued future success.”
Barr added: “I am honoured to be appointed CEO of one of the world’s leading hotel companies and to have the opportunity to lead IHG. Building on Richard’s leadership and IHG’s strong performance track record, we will continue to focus on developing our portfolio of brands, delivering consistent, high-quality growth and creating value.”
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