BY JAMES WILKINSON
InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) global Chief Executive Officer Andrew Cosslett has announced he will step down from the top job on June 30, 2011.
Cosslett, who has been the CEO of IHG since February 2005, said he would be succeeded by the company’s Chief Financial Officer and Head of Commercial Development, Richard Solomons.
“Richard is a great colleague who has been at the heart of the business since IHG became an independent company in 2003,” Cosslett said.
“He has intimate knowledge of our hotel operations and brands and enjoys close relationships with our owners and partners around the world.
“I know IHG will go from strength to strength under his leadership,” he said.
Cosslett’s work over the last six years was praised by the Chairman of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, David Webster.
“Andy has been an outstanding Chief Executive since joining the company in February 2005 and we are very appreciative of the contribution he has made during his time at IHG,” he said.
“While we understand and respect his decision to leave at this stage, we are extremely sorry to see him go.”
Webster said Solomons would certainly fill the big shoes left by Cosslett.
“In Richard Solomons we have an able and worthy successor,” he said. “Richard is a highly respected executive, with deep knowledge of our industry, our business and our brands. He is the Board’s first choice to take the company forward.
“Richard and Andy have worked very closely over the last six years and in making this appointment the Board is ensuring continuity in management and in our strategy to drive growth.
“Richard has been a member of the Board since IHG listed as an independent company in 2003 and has a proven track record as a business leader. He has a deep understanding of IHG drawn from his time in a number of senior roles and I am looking forward to working with him in his new role as Chief Executive,” Webster said.
Cosslett said the company was in good shape for Solomons to take it forward.
“We have a powerful portfolio of brands, including a now fully rejuvenated Holiday Inn, and established leading positions in the biggest and fastest growing markets of the world, including China,” he said.
“The prospects for the Group are excellent and with IHG entering the next phase of its development, and after six years, this is the right time to hand over the reins.”
Solomons, who has been with IHG since June 1992, said he was looking forward to the challenge of the top job.
“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the world’s largest hotel company and look forward to working with the team to take IHG on the next leg of our journey,” he said.
“It has been great working with Andy over the last six years. His outstanding leadership has placed IHG in a terrific position.
“We have an industry leading development pipeline and will continue to build on our success by harnessing the quality of our people, the loyalty of our owners and the strength of our brands.
“We can look to the future with great confidence,” he said.
In his 17 years of service at IHG to date, Solomons has held a range of senior roles, including Chief Operating Officer of the Americas Hotels division and Interim President of the Americas Region.