It'll be interesting to see Barr lead IHG into a new era and there's no doubt his expertise in China will help the company grow even more in that region. Another key thing to note will be how he chooses to integrate Kimpton more into IHG's portfolio.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Chief Executive Officer Richard Solomons will step down from his role on June 30. He will be replaced by Chief Commercial Officer Keith Barr.
Solomons, who has been with IHG for the past 25 years, has served on its board for the last 14 years and was CEO for six years, playing a major role in the company’s separation from Six Continents plc in 2003. The company also credited Solomons for expanding the company’s global reach and scale.
Barr, a 17-year veteran with IHG, will become CEO and a member of IHG’s board on July 1. He has held senior leadership positions in IHG’s Americas, Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) and Greater China regions, and also served as CEO of IHG’s Greater China business for four years. He was appointed Chief Commercial Officer in May 2013. That experience leading IHG’s China business played a factor in the company’s decision to promote him to CEO.
In a statement, Solomons said, “It has been a privilege to have spent the last 25 years working in such a dynamic business and alongside an outstanding executive team, talented colleagues across the business and our dedicated hotel owners. I am 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.”
Barr said, “I am honored to be appointed CEO of one of the world’s leading hotel companies and to have the opportunity to lead IHG. Building on Richard’s leadership and IHG’s strong performance track record, we will continue to focus on developing our portfolio of brands, delivering consistent, high-quality growth and creating value.”
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Photo credit: InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Richard Solomons speaking with Skift's Rafat Ali (R) at Skift Forum Europe in London on April 4, 2017. Russell Harper / Skift