Shock waves reverberated through the hotel industry last week following the removal of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) chief executive Richard North.
|Now you see me, now… I'm out of a job. Richard North has left IHG|
North was sensationally ousted from IHG just a week after the group announced a massive 55% hike in pre-tax profits.
Chairman David Webster is understood to have been the main player behind North's surprise departure.
In a statement, which claims North's relinquishment of his role as chief executive was "by mutual consent", IHG said that as the business was "increasingly focused" on expanding through management and franchise deals it needed a chief executive with "different leadership skills".
But some in the industry think North was ousted because he was the right-hand man of former chairman Sir Ian Prosser and still carried the taint of having made expensive acquisitions while he was finance director.
Steve Porter, head of IHG's Americas division, and Bob Cotter, president and chief operating officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, are the most likely candidates from the hotel world for the job, although the company may also look for brand professionals from outside the hotel industry.