Rob Payne has resigned as chief executive of Interchange & Consort Hotels (ICH), the parent company of Best Western Great Britain, two years after being confirmed in the position.
He was initially appointed to the role in an interim capacity following the sudden resignation of his predecessor, Richard Lewis, in March 2015.
Last week Lewis was appointed chief executive of Northern Powerhouse Developments Hotels. He was previously in Dubai for two years, heading up Landmark Hotels, the operator of nine properties in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Payne, a graduate in international politics and marketing from Keele Univesity, had no previous experience of working in hotels when he joined Best Western and its partner business, Beacon Purchasing, in November 2014 as chief commercial officer. He had previously been director at Bupa Care Services.
Last year Payne told The Caterer that although his earlier career had been spent in healthcare and trains, he had always worked in service: "Service is what our industry is about. I bring my commercial, marketing and development skills from experience elsewhere. There are a lot of similarities. Although it's a different industry and I still have a lot to learn, I absolutely love it."
Tim Rumney, chairman of Interchange and Consort Hotels and managing director of two Best Western member hotels, Castle Green in Kendal, Cumbria, and Pinewood in Wilmslow, Cheshire, confirmed Payne's resignation.
"Rob successfully steered Best Western Great Britain through a significant period of development and change, including the repositioning of the business, the launch of three new brands, the rebranding of our hotels and achieving the membership organisation's highest-ever NPS ratings.
"The recruitment process to replace Rob has already begun. In the meantime, Rob will continue to lead Best Western Great Britain and Beacon alongside a strong senior management team and experienced board of directors until the full term of his notice is served.
"We would like to thank Rob for his work at ICH and wish him all the best in his future career".
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