Richard has been Chief Executive of IHG® since July 2011. He is responsible for implementing IHG’s strategy of building a portfolio of preferred hotel brands. IHG is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts and Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, across more than 5,000 hotels in nearly 100 countries. IHG’s asset-light business model means most hotels operate under a franchise agreement or are managed by IHG on behalf of owners.
During his tenure as Chief Executive, Richard has led the continued growth of IHG, including the launch of our two newest brands, HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts, the first international hotel brand tailored for the domestic Chinese customer, and EVEN Hotels, the first mainstream wellness hotel brand. In January 2015, Richard led the acquisition of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, the world’s largest independent boutique hotel business, making IHG the clear market leader in the boutique segment. Richard has also overseen the re-launch of IHG Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with nearly 94 million members worldwide, differentiated in terms of its scale and benefits and covering more hotels in more segments in more countries than any other scheme.
Before being appointed Chief Executive, Richard served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Head of Commercial Development at IHG. Richard was integral in shaping and implementing IHG’s asset light strategy, which has helped the business grow significantly since it was formed in 2003, as well as supporting the return of more than $12 billion to shareholders. As CFO, Richard was also responsible for the Group’s financial affairs and investor relations. In 2008, he also served as Interim President of our Americas business.
Richard first joined Bass plc (later Six Continents plc), the company from which IHG emerged, in June 1992. He subsequently held a number of senior roles in the business including Chief Operating Officer of the Americas Hotels division, before being appointed Finance Director of the company in March 2003. In this role he oversaw the separation of IHG from Six Continents later in 2003 and the IPO of the Britvic soft drinks division in late 2005.
Prior to joining IHG, Richard worked in investment banking for seven years with Hill Samuel Bank, based in New York and London. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant; a member of the Industry Real Estate Financing Advisory Council and a Governor of the Aviation and Travel Industry Group of the World Economic Forum. In April 2015, Richard was appointed as a Non-Executive Director to the Board of Marks and Spencer Group.