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Keith Barr replaces Richard Solomons as CEO of IHG

The InterContinental Hotel Group has announced the appointment of Keith Barr as Chief Executive Officer. He takes over from Richard Solomons, who led the group since 2011. 

Richard Solomons and Keith Barr Richard Solomons and Keith Barr

CEO of the InterContinental Group since 2011, Richard Solomons will leave his position on June 30th after spending 25 years of his career within the group. He will be succeeded by Keith Barr, who currently holds the position of Chief Commercial Officer.

Richard Solomons began his career in investment banking at Hill Samuel Bank. He joined the Bass plc group in 1992 (which later became Six Continents) and held several senior positions, including the position of CEO of the Americas Hotels division, before being appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2003. As such, he oversaw the separation between IHG and Six Continents in April 2003.

As CEO, he has contributed to the development and growth of the group, including the launch of Hualuxe Hotels & Resorts (brand exclusively dedicated to Chinese customers) and Event Hotels. He also oversaw the acquisition of the independent hotels brand Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in 2015 and the launch of the IHG Rewards Club, the world's first hotel loyalty program.

“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,” said Richard Solomons at the occasion of the announcement of his departure.

Keith Barr joined the IHG Group in 2000 and has held a number of senior positions including Vice-President of Operations for Mid-scale brands in North America, Vice-President of Operations for the Holiday Inn brand in North America and Chief Operating Officer for Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific. He was also CEO of the Greater China business, and oversaw the launch of the Hualuxe Hotels & Resorts brand in 2012. Since May 2013, he has held the position of Chief Commercial Officer and was responsible for sales, marketing and loyalty at IHG. He will take up his new position on July 1st.

As of January 1, 2016, the British group IHG was the third largest hotel operator in the world in terms of number of rooms, according to data published by Hospitality ON. Its portfolio included 5,032 hotels in operation, for a total of 744,368 rooms.