McDonald's chairman to replace head of Accor after strategy wrangle

Accor's chairman Gilles PĆ©lisson is to be replaced by McDonald's Europe's chief executive Denis Hennequin after the French hotel group's board terminated his role because of 'strategic differences'.

Pullman considers London launch
Pullman considers London launch

Pélisson, who will remain chairman until January 15 in a non-executive capacity, will be replaced by Denis Hennequin, chairman and chief executive of McDonald’s Europe since 2005 and a non-executive director of Accor since last year.

Meanwhile, Accor is considering launching its Pullman brand in London as part of the company's plans to open 35,000-40,000 hotel rooms annually over the coming years.

The expansion will include 14 new properties offering 4,310 rooms in the Middle East by 2012, despite Accor recording a 10% drop in hotel revenue for 2009.

Accor chief operating office for the Middle East, Africa, Indian Ocean and Caribbean, Charlie Langlais said: "We have started to see signs of recovery. Many countries in Europe are already experiencing significant growth in 2010 compared to 2009."

UK events focus

The UK is a "very important" market for Accor’s C&I business, Langlais added: "We do not yet have a Pullman presence in the UK but it is very important we do so. We need to be in London."

The company, whose brands also include Sofitel, Novotel and Mercure, opened the Pullman Dubai Mall of the Emirates in September.

The 481-room property opened with 20% occupancy, but expects to maintain 30-40% occupancy until December. It offers two restaurants, a bar, spa and 850sqm of meeting space.

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