Keith Barr Takes Over as Chief Executive Officer of InterContinental Hotels Group

E ffective today, Friday, June 30, 2017, Richard Solomons is retiring from his role as chief executive officer of InterContinental Hotels Group exactly six years after succeeding Andy Cosslett; and he will retire from the company altogether as of Wednesday, August 30, 2017 after a tenure of 25 years — 14 of which he has served on the board of directors.

Noted moments under the leadership of Solomons — who has led the strategy of InterContinental Hotels Group and played an integral role in the successes of the company since its demerger from Six Continents plc in 2003 — include the acquisition of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for $430 million in cash; the launch of new hotel brands such as EVEN Hotels in 2012 and Hualuxe Hotels & Resorts; new concepts for its heritage brands; the growth of the footprint of the lodging company worldwide as well as its establishment as a global company; the completion of its transition to becoming a business which is light on assets; and the transition of the Priority Club frequent guest loyalty program to IHG Rewards Club in July of 2013.

Keith Barr Takes Over as Chief Executive Officer of InterContinental Hotels Group

Solomons will be succeeded by Keith Barr — who most recently has been chief commercial officer and a member of the executive committee of InterContinental Hotels Group — effective as of tomorrow, Saturday, July 1, 2017. Barr — who has been with the company for almost 17 years — will also simultaneously become a member of the board of directors.

Keith has held senior leadership positions in the Americas, Asia, Middle East and Africa, and Greater China regions of InterContinental Hotels Group — including four years as chief executive officer of the Greater China business of InterContinental Hotels Group, through which he oversaw the launch of the Hualuxe Hotels & Resorts brand. He was appointed chief commercial officer in May of 2013; and has held global responsibility for the sales, marketing and loyalty functions of InterContinental Hotels Group.

“I am honoured to be appointed CEO of one of the world’s leading hotel companies and to have the opportunity to lead IHG”, Barr said, according to this official press release from InterContinental Hotels Group on Friday, May 5, 2017. “Building on Richard’s leadership and IHG’s strong performance track record, we will continue to focus on developing our portfolio of brands, delivering consistent, high-quality growth and creating value.”

Summary

After Marriott International, Incorporated and Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group is the third largest hotel operator in the world in terms of number of rooms in greater than 5,000 hotel and resort properties.

What this change in leadership at InterContinental Hotels Group means to frequent travelers and members of the IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program means remains to be seen.

What changes do you hope to see for — or believe would improve — InterContinental Hotels Group or IHG Rewards Club under the leadership of Keith Barr?

Richard Solomons and Keith Barr. Source: InterContinental Hotels Group.

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