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Asia Pacific boss departs suddenly from IHG

03 July 2009 by

InterContinental Hotels Group's (IHG) Asia Pacific chief executive is to leave the company in a surprise departure.

Peter Gowers was appointed in controversial circumstances in July 2007, replacing Patrick Imbardelli who had resigned two months previously after admitting to "inconsistencies" on his CV.

IHG said Gowers is now quitting the company as part of a "broader cost saving programme".

"This change is part of a broader cost saving programme involving streamlining various parts of the global organisation, discretionary cost control, improved efficiency and effectiveness and making greater use of IHG's scale to achieve purchasing savings," the group said, in a statement.

IHG said its Asia Pacific organisation is being restructured and streamlined "while giving greater focus to individual parts of the region".

"Our operations in Greater China are now of sufficient scale that they will become a separate business unit under the leadership of Keith Barr, regional managing director based in Shanghai."

A second business unit comprising IHG's operations in southern Asia, Japan, Korea and the Pacific will be led by Jan Smits, regional managing director based in Singapore.

Ironically, Gowers had spoken of the necessity of cutting jobs in order to survive the slow down at IHG's 2008 Leadership Conference in Shenzhen, China last November.

"We'll have to reduce the amount of hours in hotels and people who are very dear to us will have to leave us," he said.

InterContinental appoints Peter Gowers as Asia Pacific chief executive >>

IHG to cut jobs and hours to keep costs down >>

IHG launches its boutique hotel chain in Asia Pacific region >>

InterContinental Hotels Group appoints new strategy chief >>

By Gemma Sharkey

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