Kellie Rixon has left Macdonald Hotels & Resorts as brand director and director of people development to set up a consultancy to help businesses boost operations through their personnel.
The announcement of her departure follows the news that chief operating officer Robert Cook has also left the independent hotel group, which operates 55 hotels and resorts across the UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal, to take up a chief executive role at a yet-to-be named British company.
Rixon said her departure from Macdonald Hotels at the same time as Cook was a coincidence. "I have wanted to branch out on my own for some time and Donald Macdonald [founder and chairman of the company] could not have been more supportive and will be retaining me in a consultancy capacity."
The new company, Rixon Associates, will be working with companies "designing, facilitating and implementing people brand strategies and interventions from talent management to organisational change".
As well as working with Macdonald Hotels, Rixon is also working with Hush Heath Hospitality, the wine and pub company owned by Richard Balfour-Lynn. Rixon previously worked for Balfour-Lynn in her earlier role as managing director of the De Vere Academy of Hospitality and group brand development director of the De Vere Group until 2013.
Other clients of Rixon Associates are outside the hospitality industry, including a law firm.
Gordon Fraser, deputy chairman and group managing director of Macdonald Hotels, said he was delighted that Rixon will continue to work for the company on people projects, including the implementation of a new HR system.
"She will also be on hand to support the operational teams on specific development and recruitment initiatives as well as supporting the new people and quality development managers in their role, " he explained.
During Rixon's two years with Macdonald Hotels, Fraser said she had been instrumental in the creation of the company's PRIDE people brand.
Rixon, who sold her interests in a 100-seat Folks restaurant in Sandbach, Cheshire, 18 months ago, was awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2012.
Robert Cook departs Macdonald Hotels & Resorts >>Former MD of De Vere Academy of Hospitality opens restaurant in Sandbach >>Paul Gayler, Patrick Dempsey and Kellie Rixon represent hospitalty industry in Queen's Birthday Honours List >>
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