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LONDON — The InterContinental Hotels Group (NYSE:IHG) announced that chairman David Webster will retire on December 31, 2012. Patrick Cescau, former chairman and CEO of food provider Unilever, will replace him on January 1, 2013.
Cescau was chairman of Unilever PLC and its group chief executive of Unilever from 2005 to 2008. He has also been vice-chairman of Unilever NV and foods director. His career with the company began in France in 1973. He was appointed to the board of Unilever in 1999 as finance director. Cescau will chair a hotel group that encompasses 4,500 hotels, most franchised, in nine brands, from Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza to Candlewood Suites.
David Kappler, a senior independent non-executive director, says that Cescau's leadership in major brands makes him "ideally qualified to lead our Board from next January."
Webster, who has been chairman of the group since January 2004, said of his departure: "I'm proud of the total shareholder return delivered over this period and I leave confident that a strong business with a sustainable growth strategy is in place. An excellent executive management team is in place under Richard Solomons' leadership and I know they will drive continued success in the future."