IHG chairman announces retirement in December

David Webster will leave after almost 10 years with the hotel group

David Webster, chairman of IHG
David Webster, chairman of IHG

David Webster, chairman of IHG, has announced that he is to retire in December 2012, with group chief executive Patrick Cescau taking his place from January 1 2013.

Webster has been with IHG since April 2003, when he was appointed to the board, and in January 2014 became non-executive chairman.

He served in the Royal Naval Reserves in Britain between 1962 and 1970, before becoming non-executive director of Reed Elsevier PLC. He then went on the co-found Safeway PLC, retiring as chairman in 2004 when the company merged with WM Morrison.

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Webster is a knight of the order of St. John, is on the board of Temple Bar Investment Trust and non-executive director of Amadeus IT Holding SA.

Webster said: "My time with IHG has truly been a career highlight for me and I leave with a feeling of achievement for all that has been done since demerger in 2003. I’m proud of the total shareholder return delivered over this period and I leave confident that a strong business with a sustainable growth strategy is in place."

Patrick Cesau, who will take on Webster’s role at the group, has been a non-executive director of Tesco PLC since 2009, and was appointed the company’s senior independant director in July 2010. He is also a non-executive director of Pearson PLC.

Cesau has previously been group chief executive of Unilever, between 2005 and 2008, after having joined the company in 1973 in France. He is also a trustee of the Leverhulme Trust and chairman of the St Jude Children Charity, as well as being appointed a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 2005.

Cesau said: "I’m excited to be joining the IHG board in January of next year and working with Richard Solomons on the next phase of growth for this fantastic company following the well-charted course set by my predecessor. My fellow board members and I look forward to guiding IHG to even greater achievements as we focus on brand building and the strategic global expansion of the business in the near term and future."

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