New Accor CEO to accelerate asset-light strategy

ÉVRY, FRANCE The incoming CEO of Accor SA plans to accelerate the company’s asset-light strategy when he takes over for Gilles Pélisson next month.

Denis Hennequin says Accor is smart to “unleash capital” by selling hotels and retaining management contracts—a strategy that has been in play at many of the largest U.S.-based groups but which is a relatively new development for Europe’s largest hotel company.

Accor aims to become Europe’s top hotel franchisor by 2015. Just this month, Accor has announced the sale and lease-back of 25 hotels in Sweden and New Zealand.

“I will succeed building on what my predecessors have done already,” Hennequin told a press conference, Bloomberg reports. “What we need to do now is increase penetration in all markets, especially in developing markets.”

Hennequin, who was most recently chairman and CEO of Europe operations for McDonald’s Corp., implemented a franchise-focused development strategy for the fast food giant, as well.