IHG Names New CEO

Upon joining the company in 2000, Keith Barr has held numerous positions across the Americas, Asia, Middle East and Africa, and Greater China regions.
Keith Barr, CEO of IHG
Keith Barr, CEO of IHG

Keith Barr will take over as InterContinental Hotels Group’s new CEO when Richard Solomons steps down on June 30, in preparation for retirement in August.

“It has been a privilege to have spent the last 25 years working in such a dynamic business and alongside an outstanding executive team, talented colleagues across the business and our dedicated hotel owners,” Solomons said in a prepared release. “I am proud of the success we have achieved since IHG became a standalone business in 2003, not least completing our transition to becoming an asset-light business, launching a series of innovative new hotel brands and new concepts for our heritage brands, acquiring Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and creating value for shareholders.”

A 20-year vet of the hospitality industry, Barr has spent almost 17 years at IHG, including his most recent stint as chief commercial officer for the past four years. Currently, he works to lead IHG’s global brand, loyalty, sales, marketing and distribution functions, as well as drives consistent strategies across all geographies.

“Keith has been an outstanding leader in the business and is clearly the right person to lead IHG to continued future success,” Solomons said.

Upon joining IHG in 2000, Barr has held numerous positions across IHG’s Americas, Asia, Middle East and Africa, and Greater China regions, including four years as chief executive officer for the company’s Greater China business, where his team consistently outperformed the market. He also launched IHG’s newest brand, HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts tailored specifically for the Chinese traveler.

“I am honored to be appointed CEO of one of the world’s leading hotel companies and to have the opportunity to lead IHG,” Barr said in the release. “Building on Richard’s leadership and IHG’s strong performance track record, we will continue to focus on developing our portfolio of brands, delivering consistent, high-quality growth and creating value.”

Prior to coming aboard IHG, Barr worked for Bristol Hotels and Resorts, which was eventually acquired by IHG in 2000. He is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and is currently a member of its Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.

Solomons is retiring after 25 years with the company, including serving on its board for the past 14 years.