Light, a former global chief marketing officer for McDonald’s, came out of retirement to take the newly created chief brand officer role at IHG in March last year. He will now act as a consultant to the hotels group.
The company, which owns the Holiday Inn, InterContinental and Crowne Plaza brands, amongst others, created the new role of chief commercial officer last month to streamline its key functions under one leader and appointed Keith Barr. The position becomes active in June and takes responsibility for IHG’s global sales, marketing and brands functions.
Barr is currently chief executive of Greater China for the group. He joined IHG as vice president of sales and revenue management in early 2000 and will determine the marketing structure for IHG once he takes up his new role. IHG axed the chief marketing officer title in 2011; it was last held by Tom Seddon.
Richard Solomons, IHG’s chief executive, says: “With preferred brands and best in class delivery at the heart of IHG’s strategy, this is the right time to bring our global brands, sales and distribution functions under one leader. Keith’s operational expertise and considerable experience in brand management and revenue generation make him the ideal person for this new role.”
The company is keen to forge ahead with building up its brands as it ceases to be a property owner. It continues to launch new hotel propositions, such as the Even chain that focuses on well-being.