ATLANTA-Jim Abrahamson, a 30-year hotel industry veteran, has been appointed president of InterContinental Hotel Group’s locally based Americas region and will take on his new duties Jan. 5. He succeeds Steve Porter, who died in August after relinquishing those duties the previous month for health reasons.

Abrahamson, who will relocate to Atlanta from Chicago, where he was head of development for the Americas for Global Hyatt Corp. and is credited with the international rollout of the Hyatt Place hotel brand. He also previously served as senior vice president of Hilton Hotels Corp., during which time he led the development and launch of Hilton Garden Inn. His career also includes a stint as president and CEO of Baymont Inns and Woodfield Suites, as well as early experience with the Embassy Suites and Holiday Inn chains.

“Jim is very highly regarded throughout the hotel industry,” Andrew Cosslett, chief executive of British-based IHG, stated in a release. “He has a proven track record of developing and managing leading brands and an intimate knowledge of working within a franchise organization. We are delighted that someone with his unique blend of operational, franchise and development leadership experience is joining our team.”

Abrahamson, who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota, was not available for an interview Tuesday. However, IHG franchisees applauded his appointment after half a year of recommendations and interviews.

“Jim is a true hotel guy and is somebody that the franchise community will embrace,” Tom Corcoran, chairman of the IHG owners association and Irving, TX-based FelCor Lodging Trust Inc., tells “Franchisees like people who have come up through the system. He’s one of us.”

Richard Solomons, who has served as interim president of the Americas since Porter stepped down in July, is returning to his permanent position as IHG finance director. Cosslett thanked Solomons for taking on the temporary role, saying he “has done an outstanding job.”

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