Travelodge hires Safestore boss Peter Gowers as chief executive

Kasmira Jefford
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BUDGET hotel group Travelodge yesterday named Peter Gowers, a leisure industry veteran and most recently the boss of self-storage group Safestore, as its new chief executive.

The 41 year-old will next week replace the chain’s longstanding chief executive Grant Hearn, who announced in January he would be stepping down after more than a decade at the helm.

Travelodge said Hearn will stay with the company for a further two weeks to help with the transition.

Before joining Safestore in 2011, Gowers spent 12 years in the leisure industry including eight with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) and its predecessor Six Continent Hotels.

He will be charged with leading Travelodge through the next stage of its recovery following a painful debt restructuring last year that gave its US lenders – Avenue Capital, GoldenTree Asset Management and Goldman Sachs – control of the business.

Chairman Brian Wallace, a Hilton hotels veteran who joined earlier this year, said: “Peter is a highly regarded senior executive, with extensive industry and market experience and expertise. His skills and knowledge will be a great asset in helping to further grow our business and to make Travelodge the best value hotel chain in the UK.”

Whilst at IHG, Gowers was chief executive of its Asia-Pacific region for two years. He was also chief marketing officer from 2005 to 2007.

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