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Hospitality Leader fact sheet

Gérard Pélisson

Gérard Pélisson



Born February 9, 1932 in Lyon, Gérard Pélisson cofounded the group Accor with Paul Dubrule and is currently president of the Institut Paul Bocuse. The two men are indivisible and have done all they could throughout their professional careers to maintain a perfect balance within the tandem.

Co-founders of the Accor group, now AccorHotels, Gérard Pélisson and Paul Dubrule, as historical shareholders, continue on the Board of Directors in an advisory capacity and maintain a certain degree of moral influence, although they do not participate in decisions that affect the company's development.

Paul Dubrule (33 years old at the time) and Gérard Pélisson (35 years old) joined forces in the late 1960s to create Novotel SIEH, the hotel investment and operating company that launched a new concept in 1967 that was inspired by American motels. The project was born after a long stay of Paul Dubrule in this country after he graduated in business studies at the University of Geneva. Prior to their association, Gérard Pélisson, a former student of the Ecole Centrale, was an engineer at IBM.

After a painstaking start, the company enjoyed rapid success, marked by the launch of Ibis, a light version of Novotel, and the acquisition of Mercure and Sofitel. The year 1983 represents an important milestone with the acquisition of Jacques Borel International, which combined institutional catering with Ticket Restaurant, and the transformation of the SIEH into Accor Group. The two co-chairmen lead the group's destinies with a view to achieving global coverage. The American stage was completed in 1990 with the purchase of Motel 6 and, shortly after by Red Roof. The growth orchestrated by the two presidents was achieved through the takeover of the Compagnie des Wagons-Lits and casinos of the Société de Participations et d'Investissements de Casinos. They are increasing the number of equity investments, notably Club Med.

At the same time, each of them diversified their activities, notably in politics, Paul Dubrule as mayor of Fontainebleau and senator, Gérard Pélisson as city councillor in Lyon. Both are active in national and international organizations. Gérard Pélisson is a member of the Exporters Club, the Union des Français de l'Etranger and co-president of the Institut Paul Bocuse school in Lyon. Paul Dubrule is a founding member of the World Travel & Tourism Council, he has chaired Maison de la France and launched his own hotel school in Cambodia. Paul Dubrule regularly engages in athletic "exploits" by bicycle, traveling from Fontainebleau to Siem Reap in several months. Gérard Pélisson is satisfied with good ranking in golf.

They also share the supervision and the development of business relations in the major world markets, Africa-Middle East for Gérard Pélisson and Asia for Paul Dubrule. Throughout their professional life, the tandem has operated in a complementary and balanced way. The decisions of one had to be validated by the other, all in a shared common vision.

Today, free from the daily responsibilities of the group they founded, they nonetheless have not reduced their activity. Despite his 83 years of age, Paul Dubrule remains an active entrepreneur. He is a shareholder in start-ups and new hotel concepts such as Okko and Eklo. Gérard Pélisson is actively involved in promoting French foreign trade.

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