Change anticipated at Accor as new CEO settles in

CHANGE is anticipated at Accor as former president of McDonald’s Europe, Denis Hennequin, settles in as chairman and CEO.

One of his first moves was to rope in a new chief marketing officer, Grégoire Champetier, who worked with him at McDonald’s France and then McDonald’s Europe, where he contributed to McDonald’s transformation. Champetier is responsible for brand strategy, distribution and innovation and design.

Hennequin, 52, replaces Gilles Pélisson, who left on January 15.

“Anytime you have a new CEO, you’re going to see significant change. I expect significant change, but it is too early to say exactly what that’s going to be…it would be different,” said Michael Issenberg, Accor Asia-Pacific chairman and COO, when asked by TTG Asia e-Daily what sort of change he would expect of a new CEO who engineered McDonald’s success in France – home to haute cuisine – and made it the largest Europe market with more than 1,000 restaurants after Britain and Germany.

“I’ve been with Accor for a while, seen CEOs, and the great thing is they all brought great ideas. Every company needs to evolve and Accor has changed a lot through its 40 year-plus history and will continue to change.”

“Gilles changed our brands’ architecture significantly; it is now very segmented, we have standardised, non-standardised brands. He’s also a great believer in Asia, committed Accor to invest particularly in China and India, so it was an exciting period. Denis is equally committed to Asia and brings in fresh perspective,” said Issenberg, who was launching the new-generation Novotel to the international media in Bangkok yesterday.

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