IHG’s Group CEO Keith Barr to stand down

Elie Maalouf, Americas CEO, named successor and Group CEO Designate

Keith Barr, Group CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group, is stepping down from his role and from the IHG Board, effective 30 June 2023. Barr intends to return with his family to the US.

Barr will be succeeded by Elie Maalouf, a member of IHG’s Board and Executive Committee, who has led IHG’s America’s business as regional CEO for the past eight years. Maalouf will take up his new position on 1 July and will be based in the UK to lead the business.

Barr has been a part of IHG for more than 30 years and was appointed to the Board and as CEO in July 2017. He has transformed IHG to position the company for long-term sustainable growth, surpassing 6,000 open hotels, broadening the portfolio with the addition of seven brands in six years, significantly investing in IHG’s digital capabilities and loyalty offer, embarking on a 10-year responsible business strategy, and progressing in key areas of diversity, equality and inclusion.

Elie Maalouf, IHG Americas CEO and Group CEO designate

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Maalouf joined IHG as Americas CEO in February 2015. Under his leadership, the region’s estate has grown from approximately 3,700 hotels to more than 4,350. He spent several decades in the global hospitality sector and has a breadth of experience spanning hotel development, branding, finance, real estate and operations management, as well as food and beverage expertise, with a strong track record of delivering exceptional results.

To support Maalouf and Chief Financial Officer Michael Glover and to help ensure a smooth transition, Barr will remain available to the business over the rest of 2023. A process is underway to appoint a successor to Maalouf as Americas CEO.

Deanna Oppenheimer, Chair of IHG, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Keith, and on behalf of the Board and our colleagues I want to thank him for his successful leadership of IHG and congratulate him on his remarkable contribution.

“Starting in our hotels in the US before moving into corporate roles that have seen him work across international markets, Keith has used all his experience to lead a true transformation of IHG in his six years as CEO. He has rallied a business around a clear strategy with hotel owners and guests at its heart, strengthened IHG’s enterprise platform, and placed the business on a path to long-term sustainable growth and to continue an excellent track record of shareholder value creation.

Barr opened IHG’s new global headquarters in Windsor, UK in January 2023, surrounded by executives, including Elie Maalouf (right).

“He has achieved this with great warmth and personality – not least during the depths of the pandemic – and we wish him the very best for the future.”

Oppenheimer said Maalouf has been an instrumental part of IHG’s business in his eight years running its largest operating region and as a member of the Board since 2018.

“His significant industry experience and deep understanding of our business makes him extremely well placed to take on the role of CEO and ensure we continue to progress and execute against our successful strategy. The Board and I look forward to working with him in his new position.”

Keith Barr, CEO said: “I feel incredibly privileged to have spent three decades as part of IHG, working alongside the many talented colleagues that make it such a special company, and in partnership with our hotel owners who share our passion for hospitality.

“I have been lucky enough to experience this in multiple countries over the years and to have spent the last six as CEO has been an honour. After a long time living abroad, now is the right time for me and my family to return to the US.

“I am proud of the strong position that IHG is in today, thanks to the investments we have made to transform every aspect of our business, deliver for our guests and owners, and grow and operate our brands in the right way around the world. I’m excited for what lies ahead for IHG and having worked so closely together, to see Elie lead the business and build on all he has achieved in the Americas.”

Elie Maalouf, Americas CEO and CEO Designate said: “I am extremely proud to be appointed CEO of one of the world’s leading hotel companies and excited to work with our talented teams and owners around the world on what will be an important new chapter for IHG.

“Working closely with Keith and as an Executive Committee, we’ve made a number of critical strategic investments in recent years that position us with exciting opportunities to realise IHG’s full industry-leading potential, by driving the performance and growth of our fantastic brands and delivering strong returns for all our stakeholders.”

Keith Barr, departing IHG Group CEO
Elie Maalouf, incoming Group CEO, InterContinental Hotels Group
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