Accor Hotels announced a new brand-based organizational structure for its operations in Europe, effective Jan. 1, with the aim of anticipating trends in the hotel sector and strengthening its brands. The new organizational structure affects Accor’s activities in 15 countries in Western and Central Europe across eight brands -- Pullman, MGallery, Mercury, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Ibis, Ibis Styles and Ibis Budget. Collectively, the brands represent more than 210,000 rooms and nearly 2,000 hotels, comprising half of the group’s global network.
Because the hotel market is facing many major challenges, greater segmentation in the market and increasingly specific customer expectations call for strongly positioned brands, Accor said. These trends offer the group an opportunity to reinvent the business models of its brands in line with their particular positioning and segment, which has triggered the need to create dedicated teams to each brand.
Each brand or group of brands will be headed by a chief operating officer in Europe, assisted by a support team comprising expertise in such key areas as marketing, human resources, management control and technical standards. The geographical scope of the organizational structure is divided into four main regions -- Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Central Europe and France, with a brand senior vice president for each region.
Accor said it is the first player in the hotel sector to implement this type of organizational structure. It believes it will strengthen the professionalization of teams, which will now be dedicated to a single brand, making each brand stronger and more coherent. “This organization structure will enable us to develop first-rate specialists in each market segment and rely on teams that are entirely focused on their brands and have perfect knowledge of both their customers and their competitors,” said Accor President and Chief Operating Officer Yann Caillère. “It is also essential to strengthen our relations with our partners and at the same time it will offer new development opportunities to our employees.
The new organizational structure will enrich exchanges between the nearly 400 franchised owners operating hotels in this region. They will be able to interface with the dedicated teams, giving them easier access to the brand manager. There will also be greater opportunities for exchange of best practices between European franchisees. For the group employees involved, it also offers new development opportunities, since they will be working in a more international environment. The brands’ management programs will also be strengthened, with a modernization of the training courses offered.
As part of the new organizational structure, the following appointments have been made:
Christophe Alaux has been named chief operating officer for Mercure and MGallery Europe. Alaux joined Accor as chief operating officer, hotels, France in 2008. He will retain that responsibility within the new organization.
Jean-Paul Philippon was appointed chief operating officer of Novotel and Suite Novotel for Europe. He has served as chief operating officer, hotels, Southern Europe since 2007.
Christophe Vanswieten was tapped as chief operating officer, Pullman, Europe. In July 2009, he became chief operating officer of Accor Hotels Benelux, Switzerland and Scandinavia and director of the All Seasons brand. In 2012, he was named chief operating officer BeNelux, Switzerland, U.K. and Ireland.
Peter Verhoeven was appointed chief operating officer, Ibis brands, Europe. In 2007, Verhoeven joined Accor as managing director, The Netherlands. He has served as chief operating officer of Accor in Germany since 2009.