GRANT Hearn, the chief executive of Travelodge, has stepped down after 10 years at the helm of the budget hotel company.
Hearn joined as chief executive in 2003, became executive chairman in 2010, and returned to the CEO role in 2012, overseeing a debt restructuring that gave its US lenders – Avenue Capital, GoldenTree Asset Management and Goldman Sachs – control of the business. He also negotiated a company voluntary agreement with landlords to shed onerous leases and kick started a £57m hotel revamp.
“The company is in a solid state now. I think it has committed owners and a committed chairman who understands the business... so I can walk away now knowing it is in good hands,” Hearn told City A.M.
He said he will stay on until a successor is appointed and then plans to move to another chief executive role within the hospitality and leisure industry “preferably in the private equity sector”.