Abrahamson is new IHG Americas chief

InterContinental Hotels Group has announced the appointment of Jim Abrahamson as President of its Americas region, from January 2009. Jim takes over from Richard Solomons, Interim President of the Americas and Finance Director for the group. Richard has been running the region since July of this year, when Steve Porter sadly had to step down due to ill health, subsequently passing away. Jim will report to Andrew Cosslett, Chief Executive, and join the Group Executive Committee. Richard will continue to work closely with Jim to ensure a smooth transition, returning as planned to his full-time role as Group Finance Director, effective from 5 January 2009.

Jim joins IHG from Global Hyatt Corporation, where he served as Head of Development, The Americas. In this role he was responsible for the development of all Hyatt brands in the region and the Franchise Owner Relations Group supporting its full service and select service franchise hotels. Jim also played a key part in Global Hyatt’s entry into new markets and segments, leading on the acquisitions of AmeriSuites and Summerfield Suites and developing new concepts Hyatt Place and Hyatt Summerfield Suites. Jim oversaw all aspects of operations, franchising and development for these two new brands. More recently, Jim had been tasked with the strategic planning for the international roll out of Hyatt Place.

Jim has 30 years of management experience in hotel operations, branding, development and franchisee relations. Previous to Global Hyatt he was President and Chief Operating Officer, Baymont Inns and Woodfield Suites and Senior Vice President, Hilton Hotels Corporation, where he served in a variety of senior management roles during his 12 years with the company. While at Hilton, he led the development and launch of Hilton Garden Inn. Earlier in his career Jim held a number of general management positions for Embassy Suites and Holiday Inn.

Andrew Cosslett, Chief Executive, said: “Jim is very highly regarded throughout the hotel industry. He has a proven track record of developing and managing leading brands and an intimate knowledge of working within a franchise organization. We are delighted that someone with his unique blend of operational, franchise and development leadership experience is joining our team. I would like to thank Richard Solomons who stepped into the role on a temporary basis under difficult circumstances and has done an outstanding job over the past six months.”

Tom Corcoran, Chairman of the IAHI (The Owners Association of IHG), said: “We are now entering a new era with IHG. We will never forget our good friend Steve Porter but we now look to the future and are delighted that we will be working with Jim Abrahamson. He is a highly respected executive with a deep understanding of the hotel business; he has what it takes to manage and develop brands and knows how to work with a large franchisee community. He is a great addition to the IHG team.”

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Jim is married with one son. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota.
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