Travelodge CEO Moving On After Ten Years of Service
23rd Jul 2013
Today, Travelodge, one of the UK’s leading budget hotel operators has announced that after ten years of dedicated service, Grant Hearn has decided to move on from his role as Chief Executive Officer.
Hearn joined Travelodge in 2003 as CEO after previously working for Hilton UK & Ireland as Managing Director for three years. Hearn led the Company as Chief Executive Officer from 2003 until July 2010 when he was appointed to the position of Chairman. Hearn was asked by the Travelodge Board to return as Chief Executive in April 2012 to oversee the Company’s financial restructuring programme.
The Travelodge Board has already embarked upon an external search for a new CEO and Grant Hearn will remain in his role as Travelodge’s Chief Executive through this transitional period.
Brian Wallace, Chairman of Travelodge, commented on today’s announcement: “Grant has been an outstanding leader for Travelodge. Under his leadership, the brand has been repositioned from a roadside hotel operator to being one of the UK’s leading hotel brands. The Company’s portfolio has more than doubled in size and today Travelodge is a household name with an exceptional digital presence.
“Grant leaves behind an extremely capable team, one which is already working on building the next exciting growth phase for Travelodge.
“On a personal note, I have known Grant for over 12 years and I wish him every success for the future. I am very grateful that Grant will continue as Travelodge’s CEO through this transitional period.”
On his decision, Travelodge Chief Executive, Grant Hearn, commented: “Travelodge has been an integral part of my life over the past ten years and this has been an incredibly tough decision for me to make. It has been a real privilege to lead the Travelodge team and work alongside some of the most talented people in the industry. Together we have built Travelodge into one of the UK’s best hotel brands and made staying away in a hotel an everyday concept.
“Now, that Travelodge has a solid foundation under new committed ownership and is one of the UK’s most recognised brands. I feel comfortable that the Company is in a strong and secure position for me to move on. Also with Brian’s extensive experience of the hotel industry, I believe the Travelodge brand will continue to grow from strength to strength. Exciting plans lie ahead for the business and for the new CEO, who will drive this next phase of development and growth.”
Travelodge is the UK’s first budget hotel brand. It opened its first hotel in 1985 and today the Company operates 521 hotels across the UK, Ireland and Spain. This year, the Travelodge brand is benefiting from a £223 million investment to help further grow its business. This cash investment will help fuel growth, strengthen the Company’s brand offering and ensure consumers obtain the best value in the marketplace.
As part of this expenditure, £57 million is being spent on refurbishing the Travelodge estate. This programme is well underway and on average more than 50 Travelodge rooms are being refurbished every day. By autumn 2014, over 80% of Travelodge rooms will have been refurbished in line with the Company’s new room design.
For further information please contact:
Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge, M: 07802 702 499
Jamie Leviton, Teneo, M: 07771 887977
Notes to editors:
• GH was appointed as Travelodge’s Chief Executive when equity firm Permira Funds purchased Travelodge in 2003 from Compass. At the time Travelodge had 203 hotels today it has 521 hotels which includes 11 in Ireland and five in Spain. It employs over 6,500 people.
• In 2005, Travelodge lead a price revolution focusing on low prices to encourage more new people to stay in hotels.
• In 2006, Travelodge spearheaded a national campaign – ‘Say No To Bed Tax’ to abandon tourism tax which was being considered by Prime Minister Tony Blair in response to the Lyons Inquiry. Travelodge with the help of 90, 000 customer petitions & 4,000 signed letters from UK hospitality operators stopped the tax from going ahead.
• In 2007, Travelodge worked with the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone to launch the London Skills and Employment Board's (LSEB)
• In May 2008, Travelodge was the first Company to trial the Government backed scheme run by Job Centre Plus to help the long term unemployed back into work. Today 80% of new Travelodge employees are recruited via this programme.
• In 2008, Travelodge launched the UK’s first Foundation Degree in Hospitality, Budget Hotel and Retail Management in partnership with Westminster Kingsway College in 2010.
• In March 2011, Travelodge became the biggest hotel brand in London
• GH is also a member of Boris Johnson’s London Enterprise Panel. This group advises the Mayor on how best to attract strategic investment to support private sector growth and employment, promote enterprise, increase skill levels and protect and enhance London’s competitiveness.