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Choice Hotels chief executive to retire

07 June 2006

CHE Hotel Group's chief executive David Cook will retire at the end of November due to ill health.

After a 40-year career in the industry Cook will leave the company, whose brands include Comfort Inn, Quality Hotel and Sleep Inn, following medical advice.

"My decision to step down immediately following my 60th birthday has been taken after much soul searching. Having had a successful and exciting career I have been advised that it would be unwise to continue at the same pace as would be required to pursue the growth aspirations of the group," said Cook.

Peter Catesby, CHE chairman, added: "It is with regret that I have to make this announcement as David has been instrumental in the recovery of the group and was looking forward to taking the group through the growth and development planned over the coming years."

Following a new share issue in January, which raised £18.6m for redevelopment, CHE has said its half-year sales figures will disappoint.

It is predicting a shortfall of £1m, mainly due to an average of 5% of its bedroom stock being unavailable for use due to its current refurbishment programme.

The outlook for the traditionally stronger second half of the year is better with sales back on track, although CHE warned first half losses would affect its full-year results.

Choice hotels to be more aggressive in the market >>

By Alix Young

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