IHG’s Leanne Harwood heads to Dubai for new role

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) has appointed Leanne Harwood as managing director for India, the Middle East and Africa.

Harwood will relocate to Dubai next month to take on the role after her three year stint in Sydney as managing director for Australasia and Japan. She replaces Pascal Gauvin in the new role who is retiring after 28-years with the company.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Leanne and recognition of her many achievements, notably in Australasia and Japan over the past three years,” said Kenneth Macpherson, chief executive of IHG across the EMEAA region.

“As she bids farewell to Sydney, she will leave her successor a strong legacy, featuring record years of signings and the biggest year of openings for the region.

“I’m proud to say that, through Leanne’s strong advocacy, we have made great strides in both our sustainability and culture, diversity and inclusion agendas.

“She has given so much of her time to inspire the next generation of leaders and I am confident that our AUAJ team will maintain the momentum of this great work.

“I know Leanne will bring this energy and passion to IMEA, especially as we continue to expand our footprint and focus on recovery and growth across the region.”

Harwood said it was “a tough decision to leave Sydney” but she couldn’t “pass up” on the new opportunity.

“The past three years has been so invigorating and wonderful, and I’m so proud of everything we have achieved together here in Australasia and Japan, including our record growth and the great strides we have made around sustainability, diversity and inclusion,” she said.

“I’ve been so honoured to work a brilliant team and amazing owners, all of whom have been as committed as we are to the future of our industry every step of the way – especially during this uncertain year.

“Now, the toughest part about the move is saying farewell, and I will dearly miss the experiences and people that make Australasia and Japan so special.”