Travelodge today announced the appointment of Peter Gowers (41) as its new Chief Executive Officer to succeed Grant Hearn. Peter will start on the 25th of November 2013.
Peter Gowers joins Travelodge from Safestore Holdings plc, the UK's largest self-storage operator, where he has served as Chief Executive Officer since 2011. Previously he held the role of Chief Executive, Asia-Pacific for InterContinental Hotels Group ("IHG") where he oversaw more than 250 hotels with more than $1.5bn in annual hotel turnover and 60,000 hotel employees. Prior to being CEO of Asia-Pacific Peter was Chief Marketing Officer of IHG from 2005-2007 where he led the worldwide marketing and sales team.
Peter spent his early career at Bass PLC and has gained a broad experience in the leisure industry holding senior positions at IHG as well as its predecessor, Six Continents Hotels.
Brian Wallace, Chairman of Travelodge, said; "I am delighted to welcome Peter as the new CEO of Travelodge. 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.
He added: "Since joining Travelodge in 2003, Grant has done a tremendous job in more than doubling the size of the Company's portfolio and establishing the brand as a household name with an exceptional digital presence. Grant has built a remarkable team that, led by Peter, will now take the business on to even greater levels of success driven by meeting and exceeding guest expectations. On a personal level, I am extremely grateful for Grant's support since I became Chairman earlier this year."
Peter Gowers said: "Travelodge is an iconic hotel brand and I am hugely excited by the opportunity to lead such a great business. I am delighted to be returning to the hotel industry and I look forward to working with the excellent team already in place to build on our current momentum and further grow the Travelodge brand."
Peter is married and has two children. His hobbies include playing goalkeeper for the Beaconsfield Strollers and he is currently learning to fly a light aircraft.
Grant Hearn will remain in the post for a further two weeks to assist the changeover.
Travelodge is the UK's leading budget hotel brand. It opened its first hotel in 1985 and today the Company operates 521 hotels across the UK, Ireland and Spain. This year, the Travelodge brand is benefiting from a £223 million investment to help further grow its business. This cash investment will help fuel growth, strengthen the Company's brand offering and ensure consumers obtain the best value in the marketplace.
As part of this expenditure, £77 million is being spent on refurbishing the Travelodge estate. On average 400 rooms are being refurbished every week. By autumn 2014, over 85% of Travelodge rooms will have been refurbished in line with the Company's new room design.
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