* Patrick Cescau to retire as non-executive chairman
* Deanna Oppenheimer to replace Cescau in September
Jan 18 (Reuters) - IHG said on Tuesday finance
industry veteran Deanna Oppenheimer will become the Holiday
Inn-owner's first female chair when she replaces long-serving
Chairman Patrick Cescau after his retirement later this year.
Cescau, 73, will retire at the end of August after almost a
decade in the role and Oppenheimer will take over as
non-executive chair in September, IHG said.
Oppenheimer, 63, currently serves as non-executive chair of
British fund supermarket Hargreaves Lansdown and is
also on the board of Thomson Reuters, the news and
information company that owns Reuters News.
Oppenheimer will be joining only a handful of other women as
top brass at a FTSE 100 company.
The percentage of female non-executive directors on FTSE 100
boards was at an all time high in the 12 months to July 2021,
according to a report published by EY in October.
The change at IHG, once the world's biggest hotelier, comes
as the hospitality industry navigates a bumpy recovery from the
pandemic, with some companies still facing uncertainty due to
the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
IHG, which also owns the Crowne Plaza, Regent and Hualuxe
chains, had said in October it had seen signs of recovery and
that revenue was inching closer to pre-pandemic levels.
Oppenheimer's experience includes stints at Barclays
, where she was a senior executive at its UK and Europe
businesses, as well as Tesco and Premier Inn owner
Whitbread, where she held director positions.
French-born Cescau has also served as the CEO of consumer
products giant Unilever.
(Reporting by Priyanshi Mandhan in Bengaluru
Editing by Aditya Soni and Mark Potter)