InterContinental Hotels Group chief commercial officer Keith Barr will assume the role of chief executive effective July 1, the company announced yesterday.
He will replace Richard Solomons, who has been with the company for 25 years, six of them as CEO. Solomons will retire Aug. 30, the company announced during its quarterly earnings call this week.
Since joining the company in 2000, Barr held several senior leadership positions in IHG’s Americas, Asia, Middle East and Africa and Greater China divisions, including four years as chief executive of IHG’s Greater China business. Most recently, he spearheaded the investment in the company’s new guest reservation system.
Solomons led several initiatives during his tenure, including the acquisition of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, expanding the HolidayInn Express franchise business and increasing its presence in China.
United Kingdom-based IHG reported a 2.7% rise in global revenue per available room during the first quarter, and “despite the continued economic and political uncertainty in some parts of the world, we remain confident in the outlook for the remainder of 2017,” said CFO Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson.
The HolidayInn brand family remains “the engine of our business,” and has signed 80 new hotels. Additionally, nine additional InterContinental hotels are slated to open in 2017, with locations in Singapore, Washington and Los Angeles.
IHG saw solid growth in Europe, where overall RevPAR was up 7%; RevPAR grew 12% in London and 8% improvement in Paris, fueled by an increased leisure demand. The company also now has 300 hotels in Greater China.