by Dominic Walsh
Swallow Hotels has unveiled a wide-ranging restructuring of its senior management, designed to put the company in a strong position to take advantage of improving economic conditions.
Previously, two regional directors looked after 16 hotels each, but under the new structure seven area directors or area general managers will each be responsible for a maximum of seven hotels.
The changes, according to managing director Peter Catesby, would "speed up decision-making, and enable Swallow to respond more efficiently to development and marketing opportunities".
New marketing director Nick Burrows, formerly general manager of the Swallow St George, Sheffield, said the move would result in, at most, a single redundancy and should not be interpreted as a cost-cutting exercise.
He pointed out that the changes were being implemented against a background of a 15.4% increase in profits in the year to October 1994, and sales up 3.3% to £82.5m. During the year £9.9m was invested in the group by parent company Vaux.
Following Mr Burrows' change of job, his predecessor as marketing director, Neal Crocker, has taken the helm at Durham's Royal County Hotel - his first general manager position - becoming area director for six hotels in the North-east.
The two former regional directors, Rodger Carrigan and Malcolm Reed, will each assume the dual role of general manager/area director. Mr Carrigan will be based at the Gosforth Park Hotel, Newcastle, with Mr Reed running the St George, Sheffield.
General managers to be given area general manager responsibilities in addition to their existing duties are Philip Sagar of the Swallow Royal, Bristol, and Laurie Nolan of the Royal Scot, Edinburgh.
Geoff Gold of the Swallow International, London, takes on the additional role of area director for the company's London, Bexleyheath and Waltham Abbey properties, while Ermes Oretti adds the job of area director for five Midlands hotels to his job as development director.
Development of new opportunities will again be part of Swallow's strategy after a period when the only expansion was through management contracts - a symptom of the recession. Mr Burrows said the priority was to secure a presence in the Manchester area.