Craig Bonnar promises to ‘rebuild relationships' as Travelodge chief executive

10 May 2021 by
Craig Bonnar promises to ‘rebuild relationships' as Travelodge chief executive

Craig Bonnar has been confirmed as Travelodge chief executive, having originally taken the post on a temporary basis following the departure of Peter Gowers at the end of last year.

Bonnar was previously chief operating officer of the budget hotel chain and had been credited with delivering a strategic review that led to net promoter score improvements, productivity savings and better employee engagement.

He was named temporary chief executive in November 2020 after the departure of Peter Gowers. Last year, suffering the impacts of Covid restrictions, Gowers oversaw a CVA that introduced proposed rent reductions, but with a break clause allowing landlords to terminate leases and re-let hotels. Although the majority of landlords stuck with the brand, nine moved to Accor group Ago hotels with Whitbread picking up two.

Travelodge chairman Martin Robinson said that Bonnar had impressed since taking on the role with his "energy, strategic insight and exceptional leadership qualities".

He added: "He has led us through a critical period of recovery and with his in-depth knowledge as COO and passion for the brand; Craig was the natural choice to lead the business on the next leg of its journey. I look forward to working with Craig, both professionally and personally, as we embark on our next phase of growth."

Bonnar said that his priority was to repair relationships with landlords that had been strained by the CVA. He said: "I take on this new role with great ambition for the group and I am looking forward to working with the leadership team to build upon the brand's strong foundation, with Travelodge being well positioned to benefit from recovery as restrictions are lifted and demand builds. Our immediate priorities are to reopen all our hotels and resume full trading, continue to rebuild relationships with our landlords and plan for the future."

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