IHG’s Abrahamson takes CEO role at Interstate, Kinsell succeeds him

Jim Abrahamson and Kirk Kinsell
Jim Abrahamson and Kirk Kinsell

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA Jim Abrahamson, IHG’s Americas region president, has been appointed CEO of Interstate Hotels & Resorts.

Abrahamson will formally take the reigns of Interstate later this year, following a transition period with current CEO Tom Hewitt, who will remain with the company as chairman.

“We are fortunate to attract a leader of Jim’s stature, with his talents, background and relationships,” Hewitt says. “He has played key roles in the growth and success of a number of the world’s leading hotel brands. He has great relationships with the brands and owners around the globe and is the perfect fit to complement our recent and planned rapid growth and international expansion. Jim brings the requisite experience, drive and character that will play a key role in our future. ”

Abrahamson will oversee all domestic and international operations, finance, development and support functions for Internstate, which manages 334 hotels in nine countries. The company has experienced dramatic growth already this year, adding more than 100 new hotels to its management portfolio, including its first properties in China.

“I have worked closely with Interstate as a franchisor over the past two decades and respect their ability to operate at the highest levels, and their track record of providing superior returns to their owners,” Abrahamson says. “I appreciate the confidence IHR’s board of directors has in my ability to work with not only the U.S.’s leading management company, but to play a pivotal role in pioneering third-party hotel management on a global basis. No other operator approaches the breadth of their experience, their entrepreneurial drive and their global vision for the hotel industry.”

IHG has appointed Kirk Kinsell, president of the Europe, Middle East and Africa region for IHG, to take over as Americas president with Abrahamson’s departure. Meanwhile, the chief financial officer for the EMEA region and head of development for Europe, Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson, will assume the role of EMEA president on an interim basis while IHG searches for a permanent replacement.

“We thank Jim for his substantial contribution since joining IHG and wish him every success with his future career,” says Richard Solomon, IHG’s incoming CEO. “It is testament to our strong management capability and succession planning that we are able to appoint a highly respected executive to succeed him. Having held a number of senior leadership roles in the Americas region before taking up his current position in EMEA, Kirk knows the region, the team, the owner community and the business inside out. He has done an outstanding job leading our EMEA region and I look forward to him continuing this success in the Americas.”

Kinsell previously spent five years heading the Americas development team before taking up his current role. He also headed up the Holiday Inn franchise business in the United States for seven years.