IHG chief finance officer Richard Solomons has been at the heart of the company’s expansion in China and rebranding of its Holiday Inns.
He has been a constant travelling companion of outgoing chief executive Andy Cosslett as the pair turned round the company’s fortunes after the recession.
The Manchester University student, now 48, qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG in 1985. From there he worked in investment banking for seven years with Hill Samuel (now part of Lloyds Banking Group), including a two year stint in New York.
The executive, who is married with three children, joined IHG in 1992.
He has held a series of senior roles with the company, including heading up the Americas hotel division.
He told City A.M. last year he was committed to tapping the vast potential that he believed the group had in China, and using smartphone technology to fuel a rise in bookings.
He said: “I am always watching and thinking of ways to do things better”.