Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants managing director, Patrick Dempsey, is to stand down in the new year.


He is to leave the Premier Inn company after 10 years on February 28.


Head of Whitbread Restaurants Paul Flaum will take over as boss of the hotels business.


Marketing and strategy director Simon Jones will become managing director of Premier Inn UK and hub by Premier Inn, reporting to Flaum.


Whitbread chief executive Andy Harrison said: “I would like to thank Patrick for his tremendous contribution to Whitbread over the last decade.


“During this time we have transformed Premier Inn into the UK’s biggest and best hotel chain and developed exciting new growth opportunities with the launch of hub by Premier Inn, and our recently announced entry into the German hotel market.


“We have very ambitious growth plans which, combined with the strength of our current performance, makes it a good time to implement our succession plans.


“The changes announced today broaden the leadership of WHR, provide more focus on our growth opportunities and bring on the next generation of talent.


“Whitbread has laid out clear five year growth milestones and we have the strength and depth of leadership to successfully deliver those goals.”


Whitbread chairman Richard Baker said: “Patrick is an outstanding hotelier, and under his leadership Premier Inn has grown rapidly from 32,600 rooms in 2007, when the brand was launched, to 57,000 rooms today.”


Dempsey said: “With the Premier Inn brand growing so successfully over the last eight years we believe that now is the right time for me to hand over the baton.


“I am particularly delighted to see so many internal promotions and have every confidence in the new team.”


The change was disclosed as Whitbread announced a 15.4% rise in Premier Inn sales in the 13 weeks to November 27, with revenue per available room up by 8.6% and occupancy rising by 2.6 percentage points to 84.8%.


Harrison said Premier Inn remained on track to open 4,500 new rooms this year.


“Our committed UK room pipeline stands at around 12,400 new rooms, with a number of attractive London freehold opportunities at various stages of negotiation,” he said.