Accor, the global French hotel company, has confirmed the appointment of Sébastien Bazin as its new chairman and chief executive.
Bazin, 51, has now stepped down from his role at the Los Angeles-based private equity firm Colony Capital, to run Accor which operates 3,500 hotels in 92 countries, across 12 brands. He will become Accor's fourth chief executive since 2006 Yann Caillère, who was brought in to replace the previous chief executive, Denis Hennequin, on an interim basis in April, will now leave the company after seven years.
Bazin began his career in the finance sector in 1985 in the USA, returning to France in 1990, when he was appointed as director of the investment bank Hottinger Rivaud Finances. In 1992 he began to concentrate his focus on the hotel sector when be become chief executive of Immobilière Hôtelière, a company specializing in high-end hotel developments.
His employment with Colony Capital began in 1997, when he was appointed to set up a European branch, based in Paris. Within 15 years, he successfully secured €7b (£6m) worth of investments, including the buyout of luxury hotel chains Fairmont and Raffles and the acquisition and management of hotel assets from La Générale des Eaux, Club Méditerranée and Accor.
Bazin said he has "great ambition" for Accor, a company he recognises as facing many challenges. "I want it to find the boldness, dynamism and desire which it has always been led by." He added that he intends to work with the group's employees and partners to develop Accor "to the very highest level with commitment and stringency".
Philippe Citerne, who has been appointed as vice-chairman of Accor's board of directors, said that Bazin hasa perfect understanding of the group and that "his experience in the hotel sector and his strong international culture" will help assert Accor as a world leader in the hotel industry.
Meanwhile, Gerard Pélisson and Paul Dubrule, co-founders of Accor said: " We are convinced that he will be able to give the fresh impetus Accor needs to continue to develop over time".