IHG Hotels & Resorts has announced the appointment of Joanna Kurowska as the new managing director for its home market of UK and Ireland.
Kurowska will be responsible for driving sustainable hotel performance in the existing UK and Ireland estate and working with owners and investors to unlock the growth potential for IHG's brands.
Her promotion follows a 10-year career at IHG, which started at the InterContinental Warsaw in Poland as director of finance and business support, before moving on to a number of finance and operational roles across Europe, most recently in Frankfurt, Germany, as director of operations for Northern Europe. She also sits on IHG's Europe diversity, equity and inclusion board.
She has replaced Karan Khanna, who left the company to join Unite Students as chief customer officer.
Speaking to The Caterer, Kurowska spoke of what she described as "responsible recovery" and "making decisions that are sustainable, inclusive and intentional".
She said: "We have got a unique opportunity to rethink the way we do things… What I want to make sure that we are doing while we are recovering is truly considering our decisions and giving them this intentional lens, making sure that if need be we change things that might have not been working at an optimum manner before…
"The future of our business is going to be different because our consumers of the future are different and our colleagues are going to prioritise different things in their careers. If you want to intentionally respond to that and not just copy-paste the way we have led the business before, we need to look at the changes in the social patterns and respond to them."
IHG has a pipeline of 22 hotels in the UK and Ireland across the country and across its brands, including Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. Kurowska said the group was "working on" bringing Vignette Collection to the UK. The company's newest brand, a luxury and lifestyle brand targeting independent hotels was revealed just weeks ago.
When asked if there were plans to bring any more of the group's brands to the UK, she said: "We look at all of those opportunities individually and strategically, so that all depends on what the strategic opportunity is."
Karin Sheppard, senior vice-president managing director Europe, IHG Hotels & Resorts, added: "I am delighted that Joanna Kurowska has taken on the role of managing director, UK & Ireland. During her 10 years at IHG Hotels & Resorts, Joanna has risen through the ranks at a rapid pace and has built an excellent reputation as a team collaborator, people developer and a highly valued partner for owners. I am excited to see her take on her latest challenge leading the team at this crucial stage for growth in our home market."
IHG has 358 hotels operating under eight brands in UK and Ireland, including InterContinental, Kimpton, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Voco, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites.
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