Grant Hearn steps down as chief executive of Travelodge

Grant Hearn steps down as chief executive of Travelodge

Grant Hearn is to step down as chief executive of budget hotel business Travelodge after 10 years with the company.

The move comes after Hearn oversaw last year's change in ownership moving from Dubai International Capital to Avenue Capital, GoldenTree Asset Management and Goldman Sach, which resulted in the business entering into a company voluntary agreement. This led to Travelodge offloading 49 of its more challenging leases.

The brand, which has 521 hotels in the UK, Ireland and Spain, is currently undergoing a £57m refurbishment of its rooms.

Hearn said that it had been a tough decision to make the move as Travelodge has been an integral part of his life for more than 10 years.

"It has been a real privilege to lead the Travelodge team and work alongside some of the most talented people in the industry," he explained. "Together we have built Travelodge into one of the UK's best hotel brands and made staying away in a hotel an everyday concept.

"Now, that Travelodge has a solid foundation under new committed ownership and is one of the UK's most recognised brands. I feel comfortable that the company is in a strong and secure position for me to move on."

Hearn, who will remain as chief executive until a new incumbent has been appointed, joined Travelodge in 2003 from Hilton UK & Ireland, where he had been managing director for three years. He led the company as chief executive until 2010 when he was appointed to the position of chairman.

Hearn was asked by the Travelodge board to return as chief executive in April 2012, upon the departure of Guy Parsons to oversee the company's financial restructure.
Brian Wallace, chairman of Travelodge, said that Hearn had been "an outstanding leader for Travelodge".

"Under his leadership, the brand has been repositioned from a roadside hotel operator to being one of the UK's leading hotel brands. The company's portfolio has more than doubled in size and today Travelodge is a household name with an exceptional digital presence.

"Grant leaves behind an extremely capable team, one which is already working on building the next exciting growth phase for Travelodge.

"I have known Grant for over 12 years and I wish him every success for the future. I am very grateful that Grant will continue as Travelodge's CEO through this transitional period."

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