InterContinental Hotels chief quits after nine years

The former boss of Unilever, Patrick Cescau, will stand down later this year and is replaced by Deanna Oppenheimer.

Simon Neville
Tuesday 18 January 2022 13:01
(Chris Ison/PA)
(Chris Ison/PA)

Patrick Cescau, the chairman of InterContinental Hotels, has announced he will quit the business later this year.

The former chief executive of Unilever will stand down at the end of August and will be replaced by Deanna Oppenheimer after nine years with the business.

The pair were both on the board of Tesco between 2012 and 2015 during the supermarket’s accounting scandal. Mr Cescau stepped down in 2015 and Ms Oppenheimer will leave Tesco this year.

Patrick Cescau (Marcus Lyon/IHG/PA)

Mr Cescau has been chairman of IHG, which includes the Holiday Inn chain, since 2013 and took home £384,000 in fees last year as the company navigated its way through the pandemic which saw bookings plunge as holidays were cancelled.

He started his career with consumer goods group Unilever in 1973, working his way up to chief executive between 2005 and 2008.

He has also been a non-executive at Pearson and British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG).

Ms Oppenheimer, who is based in the US, will start the new role on September 1 and is currently non-executive chairwoman of Hargreaves Lansdown where she was paid £334,500 last year.

Deanna Oppenheimer becomes the next chair of IHG. (Tesco / PA)

She also sits on the board of the Thomson Reuters Corporation and was previously a non-executive at Whitbread, Worldpay and AXA, among others.

Before venturing into the non-executive circuit, she was chief operating officer at Barclays for the UK business, followed by senior roles in its European and global high street banking divisions.

Mr Cescau said: “I feel honoured to have overseen the growth of IHG over the past nine years and take great pride in the board’s leadership through the pandemic, where we have prioritised doing the right thing by all of our stakeholders. I am confident that I leave IHG in a strong position for growth.”

Ms Oppenheimer said: “I am delighted to be joining the IHG board and to have the opportunity to work with (chief executive) Keith (Barr) and his executive committee to ensure that IHG’s strategic priorities and responsible business goals continue to be delivered successfully.”

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