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Accord’s activist board has accelerated the departure of two previous CEOs who couldn’t meet its expectations despite an unfavorable market. Apparently, it’s do or die in Europe’s turbulent economy.

The board of Accor SA, Europe’s largest hotel operator, terminated the contract of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Denis Hennequin at a meeting today.

Hennequin had disagreed with the board on the speed of carrying out Accor’s strategy, which includes expansion and focusing on hotel operations. Philippe Citerne, previously the hotelier’s vice chairman, was named non-executive chairman, Accor, the Paris-based owner of the Sofitel and Ibis brands, said in a statement. Yann Caillere, previously president and chief operating officer, will become CEO.

Accor sold its chain of more than 1,100 Motel 6 budget hotels in North America to Blackstone Group LP for $1.9 billion last year. Some shareholders said Hennequin hadn’t sold properties quickly enough and was too slow to adapt to rising online reservations, Le Figaro reported today without saying where it got the information.

The announcement was made after the close of regular Paris trading. Accor fell 2.1 percent to 25.41 euros. The shares have lost 4.8 percent this year.

The company has 450,000 rooms at more than 3,500 hotels in 92 countries, according to its website. It used some of the proceeds from the Motel 6 sale to expand in regions including Asia.

Editors: Christine Maurus and Daniel Taub.

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Callanan in London at [email protected] To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at [email protected]

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Tags: accor, executives

Photo credit: Denis Hennequin, ex-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Accor, poses after an interview with Reuters in Paris March 27, 2013. Reuters / Mal Langsdon

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