Accor has paid tribute to co-founder, Gérard Pélisson, who recently passed away at the age of 91.

Pélisson, together with co-founder Paul Dubrule, introduced a modern approach to French hospitality.

In 1967, after leaving behind a budding career at IBM, he pursued the standardised hotel business model through the creation of Novotel in Lille Lesquin, laying the foundation for hospitality company Accor.

“Gérard Pelisson was an entrepreneur par excellence,” said Accor Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sébastien Bazin

“A true revolutionary of our industry who, together with Paul Dubrule, made Accor a global force to be reckoned with. With courage and determination, they fearlessly challenged conventions, reinvented hospitality, and forever altered the industry’s trajectory, making a global impact.

“Gérard’s legacy lives on at Accor and we will all endeavour to embrace his daring spirit, mirroring his pursuit of excellence and passion for business. His vision and heart will forever be with us!”

Pélisson and Dubrule were responsible for building the group’s early portfolio which included founding ibis, Mercure, Sofitel and Formule1, amongst many others.

In 1997, he stepped back from leading the group and assumed a role as co-chair of the Supervisory Board alongside Dubrule.

Pélisson’s nephew, Gilles, has worked for Accor for 17 years, including five years leading the Group.

Accor teams from around the world are paying tribute to Pélisson through a virtual commemoration wall.