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IHG, Rezidor Get New CEOs

(May 2017) posted on Mon May 08, 2017

Two hoteliers undergo exec changes

A pair of high-profile hotel companies have unveiled changes in their c-suites:
* After three months as global ceo of Carlson Hotels Group, Federico González-Tejera has moved to affiliate company Rezidor Hotel Group to serve as president and ceo, effective immediately.
* InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced that after 25 years with the company, Richard Solomons will step down as ceo on June 30 and be succeeded by chief commercial officer Keith Barr.

At Rezidor, González-Tejera replaces Wolfgang Neumann, who has resigned as ceo with plans to remain on its board as a non-executive member. Meanwhile, the Minnesota-based Star Tribune reports that John Kidd, former president and chief operating officer of HNA Hospitality Group, will become chief executive of Carlson Hotels.

“As Rezidor enters a new era under new majority ownership, now is the ideal time for me to transition from a senior executive operational role to advisory board mandates,” says Neumann, who had served as the company’s president and ceo since January 2013. (China-based HNA Tourism Group owns all of Carlson Hotels, and the latter firm owns 51.3 percent of Rezidor.)

Prior to joining Carlson as the company’s global ceo in February, González-Tejera served as ceo of NH Hotel Group. His career also includes a stint as a senior executive at Disneyland Paris, as well as roles with consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble in Madrid, Brussels, Stockholm and Portugal.

Federico González-Tejera. Photo: Courtesy of Rezidor Hotel Group

Meanwhile, at IHG, Solomons plans to retire from IHG, which he has led as ceo for the past six years, on August 30. His successor Barr has been a member of IHG’s executive committee for nearly 17 years, and will step into the role of ceo, as well as join IHG’s board, on July 1.

Prior to taking his most recent post as chief commercial officer, Barr held senior leadership positions in IHG’s Americas, Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) and Greater China regions, the latter of which he led for four years as ceo. He was appointed IHG’s chief commercial officer in May 2013.

Keith Barr. Photo: Courtesy of IHG

“Richard has been an outstanding ceo and a driving force behind IHG becoming the leading global organization it is today,” says Patrick Cescau, chairman of IHG. “He has created exceptional shareholder value and as chief financial officer, successfully steered the group through the financial crisis. He has executed our winning strategy with a sharp focus on developing our brands, guest experience and loyalty proposition, as well as the digital transformation of the business. Although we are sorry to see him go, we respect and understand his decision to retire and wish him all the very best for the future.”

Richard Solomons. Photo: Courtesy of IHG

Solomons adds, “I’m proud of the success we have achieved since IHG became a standalone business in 2003, not least completing our transition to becoming an asset-light business, launching a series of innovative new hotel brands and new concepts for our heritage brands, acquiring Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and creating value for shareholders. Keith has been an outstanding leader in the business and is clearly the right person to lead IHG to continued future success.”


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