PARIS Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been appointed as a director of AccorHotels (ACCP.PA) and will chair its newly created international strategy committee, Europe's largest hotels group said on Tuesday.
Sarkozy, who led France for five years from 2007, lost his bid for another presidential term in November after coming third in the primaries of his centre-right party.
At AccorHotels the 62-year-old replaces Nadra Moussalem, the head of private equity firm Colony Europe which sold its 4.9 percent stake earlier this month.
This is the first time that a former French president has joined the board of directors of a French blue chip company.
Sarkozy becomes an independent director, effective from Tuesday and for the remainder of Moussalem's term, which ends at the close of the shareholders' meeting that will approve financial accounts for 2018, the company said in a statement.
The strategy committee Sarkozy will head will focus on the development of AccorHotels' network and brand portfolio throughout the world, as well as on the promotion of French tourism.
"The international expertise of Nicolas Sarkozy and his perfect knowledge of geopolitical issues are tremendous assets for the group," said Sebastien Bazin, chairman and chief executive.
AccorHotels is due to report its financial results for 2016 on February 22.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Greg Mahlich)