Accor pulls Sofitel back into fold, CEO quits

Sofitel Worldwide CEO Robert Gaymer-Jones departs

After millions spent to establish Sofitel Luxury Hotels as a stand-alone five-star entity separate from its parent Accor, the French chain has now reintegrated the brand back into its fold.

Sofitel Worldwide CEO Robert Gaymer-Jones is leaving the brand. The move has also impacted Softel Asia-Pacific’s Singapore-based senior vice president, Markland Blaiklock, who is pursuing new opportunities in the region.

Accor spun off the brand in 2007 as a means to strengthen sales in the upmarket segment, where it appeared weaker due to its strength in the budget, mid- and upscale markets with brands such as Ibis and Novotel.

An Accor release dated November 26 hinted that Accor’s new chairman and CEO, Sébastien Bazin, was going to restructure the brand, which turns 50 this year.

In a statement the company said that Sofitel was now part of a newly created luxury/upscale segment which includes Pullman, MGallery, Grand Mercure and The Sebel.

“As part of this realignment, the Accor luxury and upscale segment marketing and design functions will relocate to Singapore in the first quarter of 2014,” it said.

TTG Asia

[pictured: Sofitel St James, London]


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