Accor Aims to Regain Power
Last March at the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin, Accor’s CEO Sébastien Bazin threw down the gauntlet in the struggle of hotel versus online travel agency, saying his company was in a position to regain ground from such disruptive booking initiatives.
His comment then was that “reclaiming that space is about measurement, risk and pricing. … OTAs are a great innovation, but if you are big enough, and Accor is, you have to control your destinations.”
Jump forward to 30 October, when Accor’s top brass came together in its Sofitel St. James property in London to explain what corner of the boxing ring it has decided to prepare in, with Bazin bouncing onto the stage shoeless and wearing a black T-shirt and jeans.
“I’ve heard this is how tech people give presentations,” he joked.
Alongside him was Deputy CEO Vivek Badrinath, appointed in January from telecommunications company Orange. (Bazin also did not come to the top of Accor through a traditional hotelier route but from private equity company Colony Capital in August 2013.)
Bazin and Badrinath said Accor’s new digital strategy will change mindsets to create a culture of learning, risk-taking and innovation to allow the company to optimize, improve technology platforms and better partnerships with franchises.