IHG Strengthens Regional Operations and Commercial Leadership Teams

Karin Sheppard appointed Chief Operating Officer for Australasia, Japan, Korea & Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) Franchising; succeeded by Nick Barton as Chief Commercial Officer for AMEA

Present Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) for AMEA, Karin Sheppard, will move into an operational role as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Australasia, Japan, Korea & AMEA Franchising. In her new role, Karin will oversee the operations and performance of over 100 hotels in more than 10 countries across brands ranging from the luxury InterContinental Hotels & Resorts to the midscale Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. A member of the AMEA Regional Operating Committee, Karin will also be responsible for the regional operations teams based in Sydney and Tokyo, as well as the AMEA Franchise Operations team.

In her 13 years with IHG, Karin has held various senior commercial roles across Australasia, Europe and the Middle East and played a critical role in establishing the AMEA Franchise Operations. Karin will relocate from Singapore to Sydney, Australia and take on her new role from 1 January 2015.

Nick Barton, formerly Chief Commercial Officer for IHG’s Greater China region, picks up the baton from Karin to assume the role of CCO for AMEA. Nick’s career with IHG spans nearly 10 years. He was previously based in the company’s headquarters in Denham, overseeing the marketing and communications team for the Europe region before moving to Shanghai, China for five years. He has relocated to Singapore to lead the group’s sales and marketing functions in the region. 

Leanne Harwood heads Bangkok corporate office as Vice President of Operations, South East Asia; Lincoln Barrett assumes role of Vice President of Commercial for AMEA

Leanne Harwood, formerly Vice President, Commercial for AMEA, has been appointed Vice President of Operations for South East Asia. Leanne has spent nearly 10 years with IHG across various sales, marketing and revenue functions where she played a key role in driving the group’s revenue growth in the region. In her new role, Leanne is responsible for the operations and performance of nearly 50 hotels across seven countries in South East Asia and the 51 hotels in the company’s development pipeline in the region. She will continue to be based in Bangkok, Thailand, where she will lead IHG’s local corporate office.

Lincoln Barrett, formerly Vice President of Distribution & Relationship Marketing for the company’s Greater China region, has moved to Bangkok to take on the role of Vice President, Commercial for AMEA, where he is accountable for driving overall revenue of the company’s managed hotels across the region through the company’s system, tools and processes.

Jan Smits, Chief Executive Officer, AMEA, IHG, said: “We operate in a region that is geographically, culturally and commercially diverse. Having leaders who are culturally savvy and experienced in operating in dynamic, fast-changing environments will accelerate our performance and I’m very proud of the talent that we’ve got in place to lead our operations and commercial teams.”

IHG has 247 hotels open in 35 countries and territories across five brands: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites. There are a further 139 hotels in the region’s development pipeline due to open in the next three to five years, including the first Hotel Indigo in AMEA which will  open in Bangkok, Thailand by 2015.



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