To lead IHG’s business in Saudi Arabia, Bastien Blanc has been appointed as managing director, KSA & Bahrain effective March 1, 2020.In his current role with IHG, Blanc is responsible for leading operations across IHG’s portfolio of hotels in the Middle East and Africa, including KSA. In his new role, Blanc will be responsible for driving both growth and performance for IHG in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. He has also been leading IHG’s Saudisation efforts which he will continue to drive further in his new role. Blanc will continue to report to IHG managing director, IMEA, Pascal Gauvin.
IHG has also appointed Saad Al-Ahmari as director of HR and government affairs, KSA and Bahrain. Al-Ahmari joins IHG from Boeing, Saudi Arabia where he served as the head of human resources. As a senior HR practitioner and Saudi national, Al-Ahmari is well versed with the transformation taking place in KSA and has expertise in HR strategy, Saudisation, change management, employee engagement, government relations, employment law, and talent management.The Riyadh office will be further supported by new roles, across functions including commercial, financial and procurement, learning and development and IT.
Commenting on the recent developments, Gauvin said: “Saudi Arabia is a key market for IHG in the Middle East. With Saudi Vision 2030 and the rapid socio-economic transformation in the country, we believe, the tourism and hospitality industry will continue to be presented with unparalleled opportunities. We are therefore, pleased to solidify our presence in the country with the opening of a new office in the capital city, and appoint a talented team led by Bastien, to drive our growth and performance in the market. We also have strong commitment and an ambition towards leading Saudisation in the industry and the new structure will help us engage with and facilitate the development of Saudi talent.”He added: “This is an important next step in our growth in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is a truly significant move to solidify IHG’s position as one of the leading hospitality companies in the country.”