Accor chief executive removed following strategy 'reservations'

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chairman, Board of directors, Accor

France-based hotel firm Accor has removed its chief executive and chairman
France-based hotel firm Accor has removed its chief executive and chairman
Global hotel giant Accor has removed Denis Hennequin, its chairman and chief executive, after he disagreed with the board over the speed in implementation of the firm's strategy. 

The former McDonald's European president was removed with immediate effect yesterday; Yann Caillère, previously president and chief operating officer, becomes the new CEO while Philippe Citerne moves up from his role as vice-chairman to become non-executive chairman of the company.

The new figures in charge of Accor, including Sébastien Bazin as the new vice-chairman of the Board, are described as a 'transition executive team'. 


According to a statement released last night, Hennequin called a meeting of the entire Board of Directors where an agreement was reached that Accor's current strategy is correct and should remain unchanged.

However, while the Board wanted to accelerate that strategy, Hennequin expressed reservations and a unanimous vote was taken to oust him from the firm.

The significant change in personnel comes just days before the Accor AGM which will now be chaired by Citerne on Thursday. Following Hennequin's removal, the new chief executive expressed confidence in the future development of the Ibis and Novotel operator.

"On behalf of the Board, I would like to pay tribute to Denis Hennequin’s new and creative perspective on the hospitality business and for the quality of our exchanges during his mandate as chairman and CEO, and also at the time of his departure," Citerne said.

Accor, which also operates hotels under the MGallery, Mercure, Sofitel, Adagio, Pullman and Hotel F1 brands, is currently in a period of significant expansion with a focus on management or franchise deals.

Although a large number of new hotels have been launched in Europe and the UK, Accor has recently revealed 50 per cent of its profits are set to come from emerging markets by 2016.

Denis Hennequin

Hennequin, who joined Accor from McDonald's in 2009, started his career with the fast food chain - he moved up the ranks after joining the company as an assistant restaurant manager.

As chairman and chief executive, he has overseen a change in focus for Accor which now pursues an asset-light strategy and recently restructured its European operations​ to focus on individual brands which now have separate management teams.

"I am particularly proud of the work achieved by our teams, franchisees and partners under my guidance," Hennequin said last night. 

"Together, we have successfully expanded Accor enabling record growth over the last two years and creating a new, dynamic brand-based approach.

"I am confident that everyone will continue to uphold the values that drive the group’s success: a spirit of conquest, imagination, performance, trust and respect," he concluded.

Related topics: Business & Legislation, People, Hotel

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