IHG Appoints Brian McGuinness as Senior Vice President of Global Guest Experience

United Kingdom, Denham. December 04, 2018

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group®), one of the world's leading hotel companies, welcomes hospitality veteran Brian McGuinness as Senior Vice President of Global Guest Experience Shared Services. McGuinness joins IHG charged with creating and delivering global guest experience solutions across the company's portfolio of leading brands. The appointment reflects IHG's ongoing commitment to provide a differentiated and meaningful experience for each and every guest at the more than 5,400 hotels operating under the company's 15 brands. With more than 20 years of hospitality experience, McGuinness most recently served as Global Brand Leader and Senior Vice President for Marriott, Sheraton and Delta Hotels, where he was responsible for brand strategy, marketing, design and guest experience. Brian spent 19 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts where he led the launch of Aloft and Element hotels and the efforts to bring innovation and lifestyle to the select service category. Reporting to Claire Bennett, Chief Marketing Officer, McGuinness is based at IHG's Americas headquarters in Atlanta.

Claire Bennett, Chief Marketing Officer, commented: “Brian's industry experience is unparalleled. He is renowned for challenging the norm and creating experiences for guests that set trends, and challenge expectations. With Brian at the helm of our new Global Guest Experience team we have the dedicated focus needed to continue evolving how we design, develop and - most importantly - deliver the experiences that set our IHG brands apart. With his extensive background in brand strategy, marketing and design, as well as guest experience, Brian is perfectly positioned to lead this charge for IHG.”

McGuinness added: “I've loved every minute of my career in this industry, because I've led teams with exciting challenges and the freedom to think big, so moving to IHG was the perfect next step for me to take. It's an exciting time for our portfolio and as a team we're ready to build off the fantastic legacy of our brands, the creative thinking of programs in flight, and the opportunities that are ahead of us.”

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.