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Lane checks out of Holiday Inns

Tim Lane yesterday resigned with immediate effect as president and chief executive of the Holiday Inns hotel company owned by Bass. His departure comes just six months after he took the helm, having been recruited from PepsiCo amid a fanfare of eulogies from Sir Ian Prosser, chairman and chief executive of Bass.

The company would only say yesterday: "There were fundamental differences about the manner in which the business should be managed." One analyst said the departure of Mr Lane had probably followed a major falling-out with Sir Ian. Bryan Langton, chairman of Holiday Inns, will take over Mr Lane's duties.

Mr Lane, who will receive an unspecified amount of compensation for loss of office, joined Bass in February after 15 years at PepsiCo, where the 47- year-old American had been president of Asia and the Middle East for PepsiCo Restaurants International. He had been responsible for more than 2,500 company-owned, joint-venture and franchise restaurants throughout the region.

At the time of his appointment, Sir Ian had said: "Being a clear leader in global hospitality is a major element of Bass's strategy to enhance shareholder value. With Tim Lane joining us, I believe that we have the continuity of leadership in Holiday Inns to drive the business forward."

As part of a recent trading statement, Bass said profits at Holiday Inns, which is the world's largest single hotel brand, had risen during the second half year, although at a slower rate than in the first half. Yesterday's announcement came after the close of trading, during which Bass's shares had fallen 5.5p to 779.5p.