IHG chairman to step down

Hotel News - 06/02/2012

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Reports this week said that the current chairman of the UK-based hotel chain is expected to leave the company just ahead of the Christmas holiday after an eight-year run in the lead role, ending one of the longest ever periods for a FTSE100 company under a given chairman.

Sources said that an external search for a replacement is underway, led by David Kappler, the company’s senior independent director. Noteworthy candidates for the role include former Marks and Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose, as well as ex-Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton. Luke Mayhew, a current non-executive director at IHG and former managing director for retail firm John Lewis, is also said to be in the running.

Webster, a co-founder and ex-chairman of grocery chain Safeway, had joined IHG in the spring of 2003 after the split form Six Continents and became chairman the following January. During Webster’s time at IHG, the firm has followed his ‘asset-light’ business model, in which the firm has focused its efforts on brand recognition and management.

The news follows last year’s resignation of IHG’s chief executive Andy Cosslett, who was replaced by Richard Solomons, the firm’s former finance director.

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