Accor undertakes major restructure of European business to focus on individual hotel brands

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chief operating officer, United kingdom, Accor

Ibis and Novotel operator Accor has announced a major restructure of its European business to focus on individual hotel brands
Ibis and Novotel operator Accor has announced a major restructure of its European business to focus on individual hotel brands
France-based global hotel operator Accor has announced it has carried out a major restructuring of the management of its European business - from January each brand will be run by an individual chief operating officer and team to an individual business model.

The company, which operates a number of brands in the UK including Ibis, Novotel and the fast-expanding Mercure concept, has said the new structure represents an opportunity to 'reinvent the business model of its brands'.

Ahead of the brand-focused structure becoming effective on 1 January 2013, Yann Caillère, president and chief operating officer of Accor, revealed the move was designed to put the business ahead of the curve when it comes to anticipating hotel trends.

"This organisation structure will enable us to develop first-rate specialists in each market segment and rely on teams that are entirely focused on their brands and have perfect knowledge of both their customers and their competitors," he said.

Rather than one chief operating officer for the continent, Accor has now appointed one for each of the brands. They will be supported by a bespoke support team working on everything from HR to marketing.

Four senior vice presidents for each region of Europe will then be the link between the new chief operating officer and the hotels on the ground. The UK will sit in the Northern Europe region with Jonathan Sheard​ taking the senior vice president role for MGallery and Mercure here.

Asset-light

Earlier this year Accor revealed another significant development of its business model - a move further towards an entirely asset-light strategy. By 2016 the firm is aiming for 80 per cent of its hotels to be managed or franchised.

Caillère argued the restructure would help the company work towards this target and improve its publicly-stated aim of becoming an even better employer.

"It is also essential to strengthen our relations with our partners and at the same time it will offer new development opportunities to our employees," he added.

As part of the changes, Accor, which was named as one of the top multinational workplaces in the world last month,​ will offer new global development opportunities for its staff within the new brands alongside new management and training courses.

The nearly 400 franchised owners in Europe will also have access to a bespoke brand manager who will be able to offer ways of exchanging best practices with other franchisees across the continent.

Accor, which currently operates nearly 2,000 hotels in Europe across eight brands, is currently expanding rapidly in the UK - particularly its mid-scale Mercure concept.

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