Aron Libinson joins as associate vice president of development for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, based in Moscow. Steve Terry joins as development director for UK and Ireland, based at IHG’s head office in Buckinghamshire, and Michael Cooper moves to Cape Town to take up a newly created role as vice president of development for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Libinson is now in charge of IHG’s growth strategy across Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. He was previously head of real estate and a board member at OJSC Hotel Company, a joint venture between the city of Moscow and a property fund. Libinson handled the asset management strategy for the company. This included managing a portfolio of 11 hotels with more than 5,000 rooms. Prior to this, Libinson was head of hotel real estate development for Premier Hotels in the Ukraine.
IHG currently has 10 hotels open and 11 hotels in the pipeline in Russia, as well as one hotel open in Ukraine and two hotels in the pipeline, one hotel open in Belarus, one hotel open in Georgia and one hotel in the pipeline, two hotels open in Kazakhstan and one hotel open in Uzbekistan.
Terry will report to Richard Arman, with responsibility for growing Crowne Plaza, the Holiday Inn brand family, Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites in the UK and Ireland. He was most recently senior development director at Wyndham Hotels and previously on the board of BDL Hotels, which owns several hotels from the IHG family of brands. Terry first moved into the hotel sector when he joined IHG, then Holiday Inn Worldwide, in 1995.
IHG has 264 hotels open and 33 hotels in the pipeline in the UK and seven hotels open in Ireland.
Cooper takes on responsibility for IHG’s expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to moving to Africa, Cooper spent five years with IHG in Moscow where he had responsibility for growth across Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. During this period, IHG signed 15 hotels including five in St Petersburg, and the largest Holiday Inn hotel in the world, with 1,000 rooms, due to open in 2014 in the Crocus City development in Moscow. Cooper originally joined IHG in 1998.
IHG currently has 20 hotels open and seven hotels in the pipeline in Sub-Saharan Africa including ten hotels open in South Africa, five hotels in Zimbabwe, one hotel in Zambia, two hotels in Kenya, one hotel in Ghana, one hotel in Tanzania, four hotels in the pipeline in Nigeria, one in the pipeline in Botswana, one in the pipeline in Angola and one in the pipeline in Senegal.
Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson, IHG’s head of development for Europe, said: “We have the biggest share of the hotel industry’s pipeline worldwide and we need the best talent in the industry to help us continue to grow our pipeline. Aron, Steve and Michael will help us strengthen our market leading positions across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Around the world, we signed 63 hotels in the first quarter of this year, up on the first quarter of 2010, taking our pipeline to 1,236 hotels and nearly 8,400 rooms.”