Change at the top for Crerar Hotels

Chief Executive Officer of Crerar hotels, Paddy Crerar, has restructured the Board of Directors and appointed two new Directors.

Paddy will remain CEO of Crerar, with responsibility for hotel acquisition and disposal, development of management contracts and continued management of the group’s property portfolio.

John Wilson, who was formerly Group Operations Director, has been promoted to Managing Director and will take overall responsibility for the management of Crerar Hotels, Crerar Management Ltd and Easybreaks.

Commenting on this appointment Paddy Crerar said:

“John is an exceptional hotel operator with a tremendous passion for the hotel business, people development and of course business delivery.  We have worked together for 20 years and throughout this time he has been a tremendous asset and driver in our company.”

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A new Director of Operations has been appointed, Peter Bech.  Peter has held senior roles with Grand Metropolitan Hotels and Whitbread Hotel Company (Marriott Franchise UK).  Posts included General Manager of Golf Resort Hotels, Operations Director of Country Club Hotels and Operations Director for Swallow Hotels.  He was also involved with special projects including the opening of a £20 million Marriott Hotel and Country Club at Worsley Park in Manchester.

In addition a Chief Financial Officer, Russell Hynd, has been appointed.  Starting in May, Russell will be responsible for the financial management of the company on a day to day basis.  He was formerly Finance and Operations Director with the Corsie Group plc within the Sport and Leisure sector, and Head of Financial Planning and Control with Argent Energy plc within the Renewals sector.

Nigel Dearnley remains Group Finance Director and Company Secretary but will focus on strategic financial planning and acquisitions, alongside Paddy Crerar.

Crerar Hotels and Crerar Management Ltd now comprise 33 hotels, with over 2500 rooms and approximately 1600 staff.  The total value of hotels being managed by Crerar is in excess of £160 million.  Easybreaks, short breaks company, now markets accommodation at 240 hotels throughout the UK and Ireland. It is projected that for the year ending 31 March 2008 Crerar’s total turnover will be approx. £60m (based on the current level of 33 hotels). 

Paddy Crerar commented on the reasons for the Board restructuring and new appointments:

“Circumstances have accelerated planned changes in our overall strategy.  In the last six months we have grown at a faster pace than originally planned.  As our strategy has accelerated we have brought in structure changes that were to be phased in alongside the intended, but slower, pace of growth. 

“With a strengthened senior team we are now focusing on growing the estate through two channels - owned and operated hotels under the Crerar Hotel banner, and joint ventures and management contracts, particularly related to private investor funds, under the Swallow Hotel banner.

“The hotel market remains a difficult place to acquire decent assets at return rates that make economic sense but there are clear signs that the market is settling, which our company will be well placed to take advantage of.”


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