() -IHG said on Tuesday that financial industry veteran Deanna Oppenheimer will be the first female chair owner of the Holiday Inn when she replaces long-serving chairman Patrick Seskau, who retired later this year.
IHG notes that Cescau, 73, will retire in late August after nearly a decade in the role, and Oppenheimer will take over as non-executive chairman in September.
Oppenheimer, 63, is currently the non-executive chairman of Britain’s Hargreaves Lansdaun stock supermarket and is a board member of Thomson News and Information Company, which also owns News.
Oppenheimer joins several other women at FTSE 100.
According to a report released by EY in October, the share of female non-directors on FTSE 100 boards was at its highest level in the 12 months to July 2021.
The change in IHG, once the world’s largest hotel owner, comes at a time when the hospitality industry is recovering from a pandemic, with some companies facing uncertainty over the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
IHG, which also owns the Crowne Plaza, Regent and Hualuxe chains, said it saw signs of recovery in October and revenues were approaching pre-pandemic levels.
Oppenheimer’s experience has included working for Barclays, where he has been a senior executive at companies in the UK and Europe, as well as CEO of Tesco and Premier Inn owner Whitbred.
Born in France, Cescau has also served as CEO of consumer product giant Unilever.
Priyanshi Mandhan’s interview in Bengaluru edited by Aditya Soni and Mark Potter