The FINANCIAL — French hotel group Accor intends to strengthen its brands through a reorganisation of its structure and operational teams in Europe, which will be effective from the beginning of the new year.
The company said that new business models for its eight brands across 15 countries in western and central Europe had been created in response to greater segmentation in the hotel market and increasingly specific customer expectations.
The reorganisation impacts nearly 2,000 hotels (more than 210,000 rooms) – half of the group’s global network – across the Pullman, MGallery, Mercure, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Ibis, Ibis Styles and Ibis Budget brands.
A chief operating officer Europe will head each brand or group of brands, assisted by teams with expertise in marketing, human resources, management control and technical standards. As Caterer and Hotelkeeper said, there will also be a brand senior vice-president for each of four regions: Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Central Europe and France.
Yann Caillère, president and chief operating officer, worldwide, explained: "This organisation structure will enable us to develop first-rate specialists in each market segment and rely on teams that are entirely focused on their brands and have perfect knowledge of both their customers and their competitors.
“It is also essential to strengthen our relations with our partners, and at the same time it will offer new development opportunities to our employees."
The new brand-based organisation of Accor’s European operations in Europe, has resulted in the following appointments:
Christophe Alaux, chief operating officer, Mercure & MGallery Europe — Alaux worked for Peugeot Citroën and the French supermarket chain Carrefour before joining Accor in 2008 as chief operating officer, hotels France, a role he will keep within the new organisation.
Jean-Paul Philippon, chief operating officer, Novotel & Suite Novotel Europe — Armed with a technical diploma in hotel management, Philppon joined Accor in 1979 as general manager Novotel Marseille Est before becoming deputy director Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Marseille region in 1983. He subsequently served as regional director Sofitel and later as chief operating officer Sofitel Europe between 1987 and 1997. In 1998 he was appointed regional director, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Northern Latin America and in 2002 became managing director of Ibis France. He has served as chief operating officer, hotels Southern Europe since 2007.
Christophe Vanswieten, chief operating officer, Pullman Europe — A graduate of the COOVI Hotel Management School in Brussels, Vanswieten began his career in the Novotel Brussels Airport as food and beverage manager. He then managed various Novotel hotels in Belgium before being appointed chief operating officer Accor Belgium. He became chief operating officer Benelux in 2006. In 2009, Vanswieten became chief operating officer, Accor Hotels Benelux, Switzerland and Scandinavia and director of the All Seasons brand. In 2012, he was chief operating officer Benelux, Switzerland, UK and Ireland.
Peter Verhoeven, chief operating officer, Ibis brands Europe — Verhoeven has a degree from the Hotelschool The Hague. He began his career in operations with Golden Tulip International in Ghana and Gran Dorado in the Netherlands. After 10 years with Disneyland Paris in senior leadership roles in operations, marketing and sales, he joined Avis in the UK as director of sales for Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. In 2007, Peter Verhoeven joined Accor as managing director, The Netherlands. He has served as chief operating officer for Accor in Germany since 2009.