The one-time boss of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in Asia-Pacific has been appointed chief executive of Travelodge, to replace industry stalwart Grant Hearn.
Peter Gowers will join the budget hotel chain on 25 November from his current role as chief executive of Safestore Holdings, the UK's largest self-storage operator.
Prior to joining Safestore in 2011, Gowers was chief executive, Asia-Pacific for IHG, where he oversaw more than 250 hotels with more than $1.5bn in annual hotel turnover and 60,000 hotel employees.
From 2005 to 2007, he led IHG's worldwide marketing and sales team as chief marketing officer of the company. Gower spent his early career at Bass, the former parent company of IHG.
Gowers, whose hobbies include playing goal keeper for Beaconsfield Strollers and learning to fly a light aircraft, said: "Travelodge is an iconic hotel brand and I am hugely excited by the opportunity to lead such a great business. I am delighted to be returning to the hotel industry and I look forward to working with the excellent team already in place to build on our current momentum and further grow the Travelodge brand."
Brian Wallace, chairman of Travelodge, said; "I am delighted to welcome Peter as the new CEO of Travelodge. Peter is a highly regarded senior executive, with extensive industry and market experience and expertise. His skills and knowledge will be a great asset in helping to further grow our business and to make Travelodge the best value hotel chain in the UK."
Wallace went on to praise Hearn's role in doubling the size of Travelodge to 521 hotels across the UK, Ireland and Spain, since joining the company in 2003.
"Grant has built a remarkable team that, led by Peter, will now take the business on to even greater levels of success driven by meeting and exceeding guest expectations. On a personal level, I am extremely grateful for Grant's support since I became chairman earlier this year."
Hearn will remain in his post for a further two weeks to assist the changeover.