InterContinental Appoints John Merkin

ATLANTA (July 30, 2003) - InterContinental Hotels Group (www.ichotelsgroup.com), the world’s most global hotel company, has named John Merkin its vice president of Franchise Operations for North America.

In his new role, Merkin is responsible for leading the quality, standards and franchise administration departments, including monitoring compliance with licensing agreements as well as the property improvement program, food and beverage franchise initiatives and endeavors to increase revenue and franchisee satisfaction. Merkin also plays a crucial role in the rejuvenation of the Holiday Inn brand and he reports directly to Kirk Kinsell, senior vice president, Americas Franchising and Business Development, InterContinental Hotels Group.

A 17-year veteran with InterContinental Hotels Group, Merkin has held roles of increasing responsibility spanning information technology, franchise services, hotel operations and product development, since joining the company in 1986. A second-generation hotelier with the Holiday Inn brand, Merkin began his hospitality tenure with a franchised property in 1982. Most recently, Merkin served as director, hotel innovations and channel marketing, Holiday Inn, where he was responsible for managing the strategic positioning and implementation of Holiday Inn product marketing, as well as administering the Holiday Inn prototype taskforce.

“John brings a wealth of experience in franchisee relations and hotel operations to this role,” said Kinsell. “Throughout his career with InterContinental Hotels Group, John has demonstrated the leadership and vision required for this position.”

Merkin earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree in marketing and management strategy from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

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InterContinental Hotels Group PLC of the United Kingdom [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)], owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, more than 3,300 hotels and 515,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world (www.ichotelsgroup.com). The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn, Express by Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites, and also has a controlling interest in Britvic, the second largest soft drinks manufacturer in the UK.

InterContinental Hotels Group offers information and reservations capability on the Internet - www.intercontinental.com for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, www.crowneplaza.com for Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, www.holiday-inn.com for Holiday Inn hotels, www.hiexpress.com for Express by Holiday Inn hotels, www.staybridge.com for Staybridge Suites by Holiday Inn hotels and, for the Group’s rewards programme, www.priorityclub.com

For the latest news from InterContinentalÊHotelsÊGroup, visit our online Press Office at http://www.pressoffice.ihgplc.com/.
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