Andrew Cosslett is to step down after six years as chief executive of InterContinental Hotels Group (IGH).
He will be succeeded by current chief financial officer and head of commercial development Richard Solomons in July.
IHG chairman David Webster said he was sorry to Cosslett go but knew the company would be in safe hands under Solomons.
He added: "In Richard Solomons we have an able and worthy successor. Richard is a highly respected executive, with deep knowledge of our industry, our business and our brands. He is the board's first choice to take the company forward.
"Richard and Andy have worked very closely over the last six years and in making this appointment the board is ensuring continuity in management and in our strategy to drive growth."
Cosslett said he was proud of having implemented IHG's asset light business model, while creating a strong people culture.
"We have a powerful portfolio of brands, including a now fully rejuvenated Holiday Inn, and established leading positions in the biggest and fastest growing markets of the world, including China," he said.
An IHG employee since 1992, Richard Solomons said he was delighted to be given the chance to lead the company in the next stage of its development.
"We have an industry-leading development pipeline and will continue to build on our success by harnessing the quality of our people, the loyalty of our owners and the strength of our brands," he said. "We can look to the future with great confidence."
A search process is now underway for a replacement chief financial officer.
By James Stagg
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