Kinsell has been a member of the senior leadership team of IHG since 2002 and was EMEA president before his new role, which take effect immediately.
He will be reporting to incoming chief executive Richard Solomons.
Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson, currently chief financial officer for the EMEA region and head of development for Europe will take over from Kinsell on an interim basis while a successor is appointed.
Solomons said: "Kirk knows the region, the team, the owner community and the business inside out. He has done an outstanding job leading our EMEA region and I look forward to him continuing this success in the Americas."
Abrahamson is leaving to take up the role of chief executive of an independent US lodging company."In Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson we have an experienced executive who will take over the reins on an interim basis," added Solomons. "He knows the business extremely well and will ensure continuity as we continue to build momentum across the EMEA region."