April 10, 2018 / 4:11 PM / a year ago

Britain's M&C Hotels picks industry veteran Jennifer Fox as new CEO

(Reuters) - Britain’s Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC.L) on Tuesday named Jennifer Fox as its new chief executive, tapping an industry veteran to replace Aloysius Lee who resigned last January.

Fox’s appointment is effective from June 19, the operator of the Millennium, Grand Millennium, Copthorne and Kingsgate hotels said.

Tan Kian Seng, who has served as M&C’s interim CEO since Lee’s departure, will remain with the company as chief of staff.

Fox was most recently president of Canada-based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a role she had held since 2011.

She has also held senior positions at InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG.L) over a period of ten years, including a stint as Europe chief operating officer.

Her appointment at M&C comes at a time when concerns about Brexit have hit demand at the chain’s British hotels, especially in London, where rising labour costs have added to the pressure.

In February, the company reported that revenue per available room, a key measure of a hotel’s financial health, improved in all regions in the fourth quarter except in Europe, where it fell 2.9 percent due to lower occupancy.

An attempt to take full control of M&C by Singaporean billionaire Kwek Leng Beng in a 2-billion-pound ($2.84 billion) deal collapsed in January after minority shareholders blocked the acquisition.

Reporting By Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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