Travelodge appoints Craig Bonnar as CEO

During this time as COO, he has made a ‘significant’ contribution to the running of the company and its financial and operational performance

Travelodge has announced the appointment of Craig Bonnar as its new CEO. 

The budget hotel chain said his understanding of the group, “vast” experience within the retail and hotel sector and his strong leadership skills are all assets to “successfully lead the on-going transformation of Travelodge and to make it a world class business within its sector”.

Bonnar has served as Travelodge’s interim CEO since the start of this year and has been a member of the group’s operating board since his appointment as chief operating officer (COO) in January 2017. During this time, he has made a “significant” contribution to the running of the company and its financial and operational performance.

As COO, Bonnar held direct management responsibility for leading the group’s operations across its hotels in the UK, Ireland and Spain. He also defined and implemented a three year strategic review of the hotel operating model which helped deliver significant improvements in the company’s ‘Net Promoter Score’, colleague engagement, and also generated millions of pounds in productivity savings. 

Prior to joining Travelodge, Bonnar worked at Asda for over twenty years, having started on the shop floor and progressed through the business holding a variety of senior roles including: head of retail operations; operations director for Scotland and Northern Ireland; managing director of City Facilities Management and vice president store proposition and format development. 

Martin Robinson, Travelodge chairman, said: “I am delighted to confirm the appointment of Craig as our permanent Chief Executive, which comes at an important and exciting time for the brand. In the short time I’ve been with Travelodge I have been extremely impressed by Craig’s energy, strategic insight and exceptional leadership qualities. 

“He has led us through a critical period of recovery and with his in-depth knowledge as COO and passion for the brand; Craig was the natural choice to lead the business on the next leg of its journey.  I look forward to working with Craig, both professionally and personally, as we embark on our next phase of growth.”  

Bonnar added: “Travelodge is one of the UK’s great brands and the engine of this business is its people, and I am honoured to be given this opportunity to lead the company forward in its next phase of growth.  

“I take on this new role with great ambition for the group and I am looking forward to working with the leadership team to build upon the brand’s strong foundation with Travelodge being well positioned to benefit from recovery as restrictions are lifted and demand builds. Our immediate priorities are to reopen all our hotels and resume full trading, continue to rebuild  relationships with our landlords and plan for the future.”

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