The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) executive who was exposed for lying on his CV had no choice but to resign despite his otherwise exemplary performance, according to chief executive Andy Cosslett.
Patrick Imbardelli, chief executive of the company's Asia Pacific arm, resigned earlier this month after an internal review of his academic qualification revealed inconsistencies.
Employment lawyers questioned the move, suggesting that academic qualifications become less relevant once an employee has been in place for some time.
"None of us would want medical treatment from a bogus doctor," said Sue Ashtiany, head of employment at law firm Nabarro. "On the other hand how much can it really matter whether the chief executive did or did not get a university degree 20 years ago?"
But Cosslett, who described Imbardelli as one of his "closest allies", said there no way the latter could stay once the facts had emerged.
"The response of the board in a publicly-listed company is to make sure everyone looks after the best interests of the shareholders, and make it safe from accusations of corporate governance," he told the Travelmole website. "Once the facts emerged and the information is reviewed, the situation is quite clear."
A replacement for Imbardelli will be announced is "months, rather than weeks", Cosslett added.
By Daniel Thomas