INTERCONTINENTAL Hotels Group (IHG) yesterday made the shock announcement that chief executive Andy Cosslett would stand down and hand over the reins of power to finance boss Richard Solomons.
The move triggered a flurry of calls to the company’s top ten investors to reassure them that it was “business as usual” despite the resignation of its leader.
Cosslett has led the world’s largest hotel group for six years and steered it through a multi-billion dollar overhaul of its Holiday Inn brand.
He said yesterday that he felt that the time was right to stand aside, while leaving the company “in good shape”.
Cosslett, who will leave the company in June, revealed that he would not be receiving any extra payment beyond his pension pot worth £2.6m and the company shares he had accrued worth a further £8.6m at yesterday’s price.
“I have no immediate plans (for work) and will give it a few months to assess my options,” said Cosslett.
He said that jetting across the world for business had taken its toll.
“It is hard, but that’s not the reason I am going. I think I have achieved what I set out to do,” he added.
Chief financial officer Richard Solomons works closely with Cosslett and was described as a “natural successor” by IHG chairman David Webster.
IHG’s shares fell 27p to 1,228p.