Keith Pope steps down as managing director of Best Western today after more than 30 years with the company.
He is retiring from the hospitality industry where he has worked for nearly 50 years as a chef, hotel manager and most recently at the helm of hotel consortium Best Western.
Pope said that is proud to have headed Best Western and has loved working with people in hospitality. "Our business is all about people," he explained. "I shall miss working with the people in our 280 hotels and the hundred plus staff at our central office in York.
"But I am leaving the brand in a strong position, we have the best quality hotels we have ever had and are continuing to grow the number of quality three- and four-star hotels which carry the Best Western name.
"We've had strong growth in our last financial year with £127m in sales, an increase of 11% year on year, and next year we plan to increase that to £135m."
Pope, who will remain as a consultant to Best Western, is looking forward to spending time playing golf and becoming a parish councillor for the village where he lives, near York.