Webster has been on the board of the UK-based global hotel group since April 2003 and became the non-executive chairman in January 2004. He officially stands down on 31 December with Cescau taking over from the beginning of next year.
As well as heading up the IHG Company nomination committee, Webster co-founded the supermarket Safeway and was chairman from 1997 till the company merger with fellow retailer Wm Morrison.
"My time with IHG has truly been a career highlight for me," Webster said announcing his retirement. "I leave with a feeling of achievement for all that has been done since demerger in 2003. I leave confident that a strong business with a sustainable growth strategy is in place. An excellent executive management team is in place under Richard Solomons’ leadership and I know they will drive continued success in the future."
In 2003 IHG was formed following the demerger with the pub business part of Six Continents which then became Mitchells & Butlers.
Earlier this month the hotelier which controls the Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo brands announced a rise in profits in the first quarter of the year. In the UK revenue per available room (RevPAR) grew by just 2.2 per cent however the operator said the market remained 'resilient'.
As well as holding a number of non-executive directorships and board positions, Cescau was formerly the chief executive of the producer and supplier Unilever after a long career with the British/Dutch company. Cescau, who also served as Unilever chairman, said his ambition in his new position was focused on expansion
"I’m excited to be joining the IHG board in January of next year and working with Richard Solomons on the next phase of growth for this fantastic company following the well-charted course set by my predecessor."
"My fellow board members and I look forward to guiding IHG to even greater achievements as we focus on brand building and the strategic global expansion of the business in the near term and future," Cescau concluded.