IHG creates new operating region, names new leadership

InterContinental Hong Kong hotel
The InterContinental Hong Kong will be part of the company's new EMEAA region.

InterContinental Hotels Group has combined two operating regions into a larger one. The company's new EMEAA region will cover hotels in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. The EMEAA region will be headquartered in the UK and operate through sub-regional divisions based in a number of locations, including Singapore, to maintain close contacts with hotel owners, guests and colleagues.  

Kenneth Macpherson

As such, the company has also appointed two new regional CEOs. Kenneth Macpherson, currently IHG’s CEO of Greater China, will lead the new EMEAA region. Jolyon Bulley has been promoted to CEO, Greater China, replacing Macpherson. These changes will take effect at the beginning of 2018.

Macpherson, who currently is responsible for the management, growth and profitability of the company’s fastest-growing region, joined IHG in April 2013 after almost 20 years with Diageo. He has lived and worked in China since 2005 and during his career has been based in several locations in Asia, the UK and South Africa. 

“The Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa region will be hugely diverse with tremendous opportunity,” Keith Barr, IHG's global chief executive, said of the appointments. “With Kenneth’s experience in our fastest growing region, sharp focus on operational excellence and strong background in consumer brands, he has both the experience and passion to take our new region forward.” 

Jolyon Bulley
Jolyon Bulley

Bulley, meanwhile, is currently COO for the Americas and responsible for operations across IHG’s largest region with almost 4,000 hotels. With his appointment to CEO of Greater China, Bulley will also become a member of IHG’s global Executive Committee. Bulley has been with IHG for 16 years, joining in 2001 as Director of Operations for New South Wales in Australia and has taken leadership roles across various divisions since. Bulley was COO for Greater China from 2011 to 2014, with oversight of strategic planning across the region’s hotel performance, food and beverage offerings, brand performance and owner relations. 

Bulley, Barr said, “is a hotelier through and through, and has long been a respected senior leader in IHG. Jolyon already has extensive experience of the Greater China market and enjoys close relationships with many of our most valued owners. In addition, his franchise experience, developed during his most recent role as COO for the Americas, means he is extremely well-placed to lead the region’s next phase of growth and I look forward to welcoming him to the EC.”

After 28 and 15 years with IHG, respectively, Angela Brav, CEO of Europe, and Jan Smits, CEO of Asia, Middle East & Africa, will be leaving the company. They will remain with IHG until the end of the year to support the transition process.