A banker has been appointed as the new chief executive at easyHotel to lead a major expansion of the budget brand.
Simon Champion, until recently managing director and hotel analyst at Deutsche Bank, will oversee the growth of easyHotel into every major European city through franchise agreements. EasyHotel is a division of the easy.com group which includes budget airline easyJet. There are currently nine easyHotels in the UK and ten overseas.
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of easyJet who has been heading the hotel business since the previous chief executive Lawrence Alexander left in 2009, said that Champion would be responsible for signing new franchisees as well as advising on further direct investments, such as the company's 90-bedroom hotel in Old Street, London.
Champion said that easyHotel has "substantial" growth potential. "Whilst easyHotel's aim is to grow principally through franchising, I also welcome further direct investment from Sir Stelios. His success in converting Old Street from a commercial property into a hotel is an interesting option for property owners.
"The returns from being an easyHotel franchisee are highly attractive and so we look forward to substantial growth over the next few years".
Rooms at the UK hotels are priced from £26, putting them a notch below competitors Travelodge and Premier Inn.